November 4, 2017 - Amber Waves of Grain Festival
The 2nd Annual Amber Waves of Grain Festival in Corona
By Bill Betten, Co-Director of the California WW1 Centennial Task Force
One parade, a military museum, dozens of vintage and modern-day military vehicles, scores of food booths, 40 micro-brewery dispensing booths, hours of live music, and more all added up to a great day of enjoyment.
Merchants at The Shops at Dos Lagos in Corona know the Inland Empire has had a long,rich history with the veterans of this area, particularly because of a few active members of their community. The organizers of the Amber Waves of Grain Festival, Bill Steinkirchner of Stone Church Brewing and Post 216 American Legionnaire George Brightenburg, value this relationship and consider it an honor to serve the veterans and citizens of the United States.
The California WW1 Centennial Task Force had been invited to participate and were encouraged to setup an information booth at the 2nd Annual Amber Waves of Grain Craft Beer Festival, held on November 4, 2017. Dedicated to help support Veteran's Service organizations the festival provides guests the opportunity to enjoy a joint military-civilian parade, visit a World War II museum, while interact with historical reenactmentgroups depicting life from all eras of U.S. history, including World War I. The festival also featured static displays, including past and present military vehicles and plenty of vendors and activities for families to enjoy. Over 30 non-profit organizations which provide services and support to our local veterans were represented, as well as a display of WW1 artifacts at the booth of the California WW1 Centennial Task Force.
The annual Amber Waves of Grain Veteran Festival allows participants an opportunity to recognize and honor the tremendous sacrifices made by veterans. Guests were able to talk to current Marines, Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen present to support the show. Many of these young men and women have deployed numerous times to secure peace throughout the world. Like our forefathers of World War 1, they are true American heroes.
Guests also had the opportunity to visit the craft beer garden showcasing forty microbreweries representing Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. The $40 entrance fee all went to help to raise funds for multiple veterans service organizations. A partaker’s entry came with a commemorative pint glass and unlimited tastings of over 80 beers. 100% of proceeds were distributed to Veteran 501(c)3 groups.
The local radio station, KCAL FM broadcast the event live next to the main stage which featured over 4 bands.
Of course, though no WW1 veterans were on hand, guests could meet and talk with WWII veterans who survived Pearl Harbor, Iwo Jima and the Battle of the Bulge. Historical groups brought the military past back to life through re-enactors of the American Revolution, Continental Marines, Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korean War and Vietnam conflicts.