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USO-style show to salute area veterans

As a fitting preamble to the area's annual Fourth of July festivities, Northern Light Opera Company (NLOC), with support from the local Disabled American Veterans Chapter 38, is presenting a USO-style show on Thursday, June 29, at 6 p.m., at the Armory in Park Rapids.

For 76 years, the USO has been boosting the morale of America's armed forces serving at home and abroad by providing entertainment at military bases around the world, shows that have included a variety of comedy routines and musical performances.

In that spirit, some members of this year's cast of NLOC, which is beginning rehearsals for this season's presentation of "South Pacific," will offer a salute to area veterans that will include familiar musical numbers from the many years the USO has been providing entertainment.

Some of those favorites will include "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B," "Mr. Sandman," "Rockin' Around the Clock," and "Hey Jude." Abbott and Costello's famous word-play sketch, "Who's on first?" will be performed, and Mike Carroll will channel Bob Hope as the golf-club-toting Master of Ceremonies. The audience will be able to join in on a singing of "God Bless America" at the end of the show.

The approximate 40-minute show begins at 6 p.m., and will be offered at no charge, although freewill donations will be gratefully accepted and donated to the USO. Coffee and cookies will be available, and veterans who attend will be asked to stand to receive their due recognition.

NLOC invites area residents to come out and take a trip down a musical memory lane and salute the veterans who served around the world enjoying that music over the years.

Parking available at Hugo's and Calvary Lutheran Church parking lots, as well as the vacant lot to the west of Hugo's.