Hillman to celebrate VJ Day this weekend

HILLMAN — Hillman will celebrate its 74th annual Victory Over Japan Day — or VJ Day — this weekend.

Bob Hunt, commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 2356, said Hillman remains one of the few places in the nation that still celebrates VJ Day, which marks the day Japan surrendered to the Allied forces at the end of World War II.

Hunt said the village has celebrated VJ Day since 1945 and has never missed a year. Although VJ Day is celebrated on Aug. 14, Hillman celebrates it on the weekend closest to that day.

“It’s something we’ve always done, and the majority of the people in the area want it, so we continue it,” Hunt said.

While the event kicks off on Friday, Hillman Area Chamber of Commerce President Jim Paczkowski said the parade, scheduled for noon on Saturday, is the event with the biggest turnout. The grand marshals for this year’s parade are Glen and Sharon Reed.

A chicken dinner will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Brush Creek Mill and costs $8 per person or $25 for a family of five. Fireworks begin at dusk at Emerick Park, 351 State St.

The annual VJ Day Pageant is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at Patchwood Plaza. A car show is planned for 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday. The Tiger Golf Scramble begins Sunday at 9:30 a.m. with a shotgun start at the Thunder Bay Resort.

Kathy Stevens, vice president of the Brush Creek Mill, said the mill will feature an exhibit on the Korean War, with a list of veterans from Montmorency County who served in the war. The mill will open from noon to 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday at 121 State St.

“We have lots of information about the Korean War in general,” Stevens said. “We have two poster-size exhibits on two of the major battles — the Chosin Reservoir Battle and the Battle of Inchon — and then we have a summary of the armistice agreement.”

Stevens said the mill also has some memorabilia and a uniform from the late Cpl. Wallace “Jack” McMurphy, of Atlanta, who was present at the armistice signing. Stevens said the museum is featuring photos of men from Montmorency County who served during the Korean War.

Artist renderings of the American flag, colored by students at Hillman Elementary School, will also be on display at the museum.

Crystal Nelson can be reached at 989-358-5687 or cnelson@thealpenanews.com.


For more information on the Hillman VJ Day events, visit hillmanchamber.org or brushcreekmill.com.