Vietnam Veterans to join Harvest Festival Parade line up as part of reunion | MyWindsorNow.com

Vietnam Veterans to join Harvest Festival Parade line up as part of reunion

Allison Dyer Bluemel
abluemel@mywindsornow.com

A group of Vietnam Veterans from across the country will embody Windsor's Harvest Festival Parade theme of Honoring Our Past and Celebrating Our Future on Monday on their first parade float.

Every two years, a group of approximately 20 to 30 veterans who served together meet in various cities across the country to celebrate around Labor Day.

The Windsor Harvest Festival parade begins at 9 a.m. – though the veterans and other floats will line up at 7 a.m. at Walnut Street and Chimney Park Drive – and runs west of Walnut Street to Seventh Street then south on Seventh Street to Eastman Park Drive.

The event gives vets and their families the chance to see new areas and new cultures, which will hopefully include a weekend of fun at the Harvest Festival in addition to a BBQ at the home of Windsor resident Steve Tintis, a veteran and host of this year's get together.

Tintis moved from Minnesota to help his fellow serviceman and longtime friend Jim Kyger, a Windsor native, with his father on their land following their time in the service.

Kyger and Tintis served together in Thailand building the road to Kabinburi and doing construction work before returning from duty in 1964. They remained in the U.S. until they were assigned to different areas in Germany where they parted ways for a time.

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They both got out of the service in 1966.

While their time in the service was rough, Kyger and Tintis look back on the time and the friendships it fostered fondly.

"Whatever the service hands out, we got," Kyger said, referring to the adverse conditions they experienced while living in Thailand for over a year.

When Tintis moved to Colorado, he began working in construction while Jim worked as a fire department volunteer for the Windsor-Severance Fire Rescue.

They began the tradition of getting together about a decade ago and the celebrations attract veterans from Washington to Connecticut to San Francisco, Tintis said.

All the men served as construction engineers, he said.

"With these guys, it's more like a brotherhood," Kyger said. "If you've seen those shows like Band of Brothers, it really is something that happened."

While the celebration originally started as a casual way to get together, catch up and have a beer, Tintis said they hope to top the previous years' events by throwing a big party and BBQ Saturday and Sunday before the parade Monday morning.

They will also have some military construction equipment on display at their property throughout the weekend.

The Harvest Festival Parade will be the first time the group has done a Labor Day parade during their reunions.

The week leading up to the parade, Tintis and Kyger, along with an Air Force friend of theirs, built the float featuring helmets, shovels and small model of the quarters they lived in in Thailand.

Kyger laughed that the model — a converted birdhouse of his wife's — was supposed to be as accurate as possible, but, as they couldn't find banana tree leaves in Windsor, featured cardboard strips on the sides of the building.

Kyger had built miniature bunks inside the structure to show their sleeping quarters as well.

The float, which they hope will be filled with as may veterans as they can fit, will be pulled by one of Tintis's restored tractors, a Super C-32 Farmall from the 1940s.

Tintis has multiple tractors on his property and thought that this model — similar to the one he's been riding since he was 6 years old — would be a good choice for pulling the float.

Aside from the tractor — which was restored over 20 years — the weekend has been reasonably stress free in terms of preparation, though Tintis and Kyger have been on the hunt for a good watermelon.

"I'm retired so I've got time to do stuff like this," Tintis said.

Harvest Festival Weekend Schedule:

Sunday’s Events

7 a.m.: Hot Air Balloon Launch (weather permitting) at Eastman Park. The event is open to the public.

7 – 11 a.m.: Lions Club Pancake Breakfast at the Windsor Middle School Cafeteria.

9 a.m. – 5 p.m.: Arts and crafts, commercial and food booths, kid’s amusement rides and games at Windsor Main Park, 300 Locust St.

9 a.m. – 5 p.m.: Horse drawn carriage rides at Windsor Main Park, 300 Locust St.

10 – 11 a.m.: Church service in the park presented by Cornerstone Baptist Church at Windsor Main Park, 300 Locust St.

10 a.m. – 2 p.m.: Windsor car “cruise-in” at Eastman Park. $10 per car to enter with free admission.

11 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Home and Garden Show at Windsor Main Park, 300 Locust St.

11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.: Colorado Swing Big Band plays at Boardwalk Park.

Noon – 5 p.m.: Beer garden hosted by the Windsor Rotary Club at Main Park.

Noon – 6 p.m.: Lions Club Bingo at the southeast corner of Main Park under the white tent.

1:30 to 2:30 p.m.: The Groove Dudes play at Boardwalk Park.

2 – 4 p.m.: Kids and adults games, including a pie eating contest, at Windsor Main Park, 300 Locust St.

3 – 5 p.m.: The Steve Manshel Band plays at Boardwalk Park.

4 – 6 p.m.: Bulls on the beach at Water Valley South.

7 -10 p.m.: Bulls on the beach concert and dance at Water Valley South.

8:30 p.m.: Free movie in the park at Boardwalk Park, movie to be announced.

Monday’s Events

7:00 a.m.: Parade Lineup for Parade Entries beginning at Walnut Street and Chimney Park Drive. Participants should follow instructions emailed to them.

7:30 a.m.: Labor Day 5k Run/Walk at Boardwalk Park, 100 N. Fifth St. Call (970) 674-3500 for more information.

8 – 8:45 a.m.: Kiddie Parade and Judging at Third and Walnut streets.

9 a.m.: Windsor Harvest Festival parade runs west of Walnut Street to Seventh Street then south on Seventh Street to Eastman Park Drive.

10 a.m.- 5 p.m.: Arts and crafts, commercial and food booths, kids amusement rides and games at Windsor Main Park, 300 Locust St.

11 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.: Horse drawn carriage rides on the north side of Windsor Main Park, 300 Locust St.

11 a.m.: The Emma Marie Band plays at Boardwalk Park.

Noon – 5 p.m.: Beer garden hosted by the Windsor Rotary Club at Main Park.

Noon – 5 p.m.: Lions Club bingo on the southeast corner of Main Park under the white tent.

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.: Equally Challenged plays at Boardwalk Park.

2 – 3 p.m.: Daddy Rab plays at Boardwalk Park.

2 – 4 p.m.: Home and Garden Show exhibits released and awards presented at Windsor Main Park, 300 Locust St.

3:30 – 5 p.m.: George Gray and the Elvis Experience play at Boardwalk Park.

For more information on the Harvest Festival visit http://www.windsorharvestfest.com.

Home and Garden Show Information:

The Home and Garden show will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday and Monday at the show’s new location in the southeast corner of Main Park, 301 Locust St.

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