WARNER ROBINS -- The venue has changed and with that, comes 18 more acres of space. That should be plenty for the 500 motorcycles event organizer Benny Brantley hopes to have for the third annual Vet Fest on Monday starting at 3 p.m.
We do it for our veterans, said Brantley, president and CEO of Blue Duck Events Inc.
The free festival and concert will have members of the Armed Forces along with local community service agencies like the police and fire departments, which will have fire trucks and the fire safety house.
This is just to raise awareness, Brantley said.
Proceeds from the event will go to Operation Troop Aid, which sends care packages to troops overseas.
Darrell Tripp, who is helping organize the festival and has also been deployed, said the packages are a welcome sight.
Operation Troop Aid gets donations from companies such as Wal-Mart and puts together a duffel bag full of soap products, music CDs and lip balm.
In the desert, you need lip balm, Tripp said.
This is the first year the event has been free to the public. Mid State RV is the main sponsor, which allowed organizers to have a no-cost event.
Motorcycles will travel from Harley Davidson of Macon at 2 p.m. to Watson Boulevard, where they will make their way to Ga. 247 and head south to the Ardagh Group field across from the Museum of Aviation. The cost of the ride is $15 per motorcycle and $5 for extra riders. Brantley encouraged people to come out and wave flags for the ride, which will happen about 2:20-2:30 p.m. Monday.
Once the bikes are parked at the field, Eddie Dunbar from The Drifters will sing the national anthem, and Warner Robins Mayor Chuck Shaheen will give a speech honoring veterans.
The concert is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. and features Blackjack Billy, a country group, followed by the Big Rock Show.
The Big Rock Show band is made up of members from hair bands Skid Row, Alice Cooper, Hair of the Dog and Winger.
Paul Taylor of Winger will also be leading the motorcycle ride.
There will be bounce houses and face painting for children as well as food and drink vendors.
Brantley and Tripp hope the event brings a lot of people.
We would like to see three-to-five thousand people, Brantley said.