Tribute Fest Wraps Up, Breaks Record for Advance Tickets Sold

The Duluth Vet Center was also on-site to help connect veterans to counseling and other services.

DULUTH, Minn.- Saturday’s weather took a break from the doom and gloom to give this year’s Tribute Fest at Bayfront Park a sunny sendoff.

Organizers say upward of 2,000 tickets were sold in advance to the show, more than they’ve ever sold in previous years.

Veterans and their families were allowed in and fed for free.

All the money goes to the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans or MACV, which raises funds to help homeless veterans.

“They love it,” said Festival Owner Lou Campbell.“Every veteran comes up to me and if they know who I am they’ll shake my hand and say ‘thank you very much for doing this for me.’ I’m going, well it’s a cumulative effort, it’s not just me it’s everybody who helps.”

Also available by the front gates was the mobile Duluth Vet Center.

Part of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, Vet Centers offer counseling, help with military sexual trauma, and other services.

Staff said especially after events like Thursday’s bombing at Kabul Airport, it’s important that ways to help veterans cope and heal are readily accessible.

“You can have instances like what happened recently in Afghanistan that can sometimes bring up memories or it could be a life-changing event like getting a job or retiring even,” said Andrew Meyer, Veterans Outreach Program Specialist.

“We have Vietnam vets who’ll come in who are no longer working all the time. It’s important the vets have that access and that ability to make a smooth transition,” he said.

The Duluth Vet Center’s main location is on Haines Road, open Monday through Friday.

Staff are also a phone call away day and night.

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