WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio --
'Tis the season for most people to host or attend holiday parties; but, for officials, here, 'tis the season to be in the midst of planning for one of southwest Ohio's largest summer celebrations.
The Air Force Materiel Command Freedom's Call Tattoo is Friday, June 25, 2010. Officials expect another record crowd - in excess of 75,000 people - to enjoy aerial and stage events, music, technology and fireworks. The event is free and open to the public.
"It's an over-used saying, but, in the case of Tattoo, these are the best words to describe it: This year the show is going to be bigger and better than ever," exclaimed Dave Egner, Freedom's Call Tattoo director. "We have a line-up with something to please everyone!"
Tattoo, now in its sixth year, is never the same show from year-to-year.
To begin, Tattoo's theme for 2010 will commemorate veterans from the Korean War, which began June 25, 1950, when North Korea opened fire on South Korea's Army positions south of the 38th parallel, the line which serves as the border between the two countries.
"Nearby the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C., there is a plaque stating, 'Our nation honors her sons and daughters who answered the call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met,'" Mr. Egner said.
"While we can't personally meet all of these veterans, we sure can honor them, especially with it being the 60th anniversary of a war which, in all likelihood, prevented the spread of communism in that theater, thereby protecting the rest of the world during the Cold War era," he said.
Part of the tribute will include music from the era, courtesy of the base's own U.S. Air Force Band of Flight, under the direction of Maj. R. Michael Mench, as well as vintage aircraft.
What has become an anticipated aspect of Tattoo is the special musical guest that plays a free hour-long concert at the conclusion of the Tattoo ceremony and prior to the fireworks show. The special musical guest for Freedom's Call Tattoo 2010 will be announced in early 2010.
Another crowd-pleaser set to return is the Technology Expo, which features military wares researched, developed and managed at Wright-Patterson, but are used throughout the Air Force and Defense Department to protect and defend the country.
"Because of its popularity, the tech tent continues to grow in square-footage just like Tattoo continues to see growth in attendance," said Jim Palmer, Tech Expo manager.
Popular Tech Expo displays from past Tattoos will return, and there will be new additions, as well, Mr. Palmer said.
"For instance, the F-16 cockpit is scheduled for display," he said. "Folks actually can sit in the mock aircraft seat and experience the thrill of aviation, similar to what a fully-trained F-16 Falcon pilot would. People will have to stay tuned to learn about new additions to the Tech Expo."
Though the calendar says, 'December,' plans for next summer's Tattoo are well underway, Mr. Egner said. "From a planner's perspective, once the new year rolls in, time will fly and June will be here before we know it."
For more information about Freedom's Call Tattoo 2010, log onto