Freedom Celebration | Black Hills & Badlands - South Dakota

Freedom Celebration

  • Freedom Celebration
Event Date: 
Thursday, August 8, 2019 - 4:00pm
The Buffalo Chip
20622 Fort Meade Way
Sturgis, SD 57785

Supporting soldiers has long been a tradition at the Buffalo Chip, and again this year the Chip will be dedicating an entire day to the acknowledgement of these brave men and women. Help honor the past and present members of our military during the 28th annual Freedom Celebration on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019! 

Experience a variety of powerful presentations, moving events and inspiring performances, all specifically designed to recognize those who have selflessly served and, in some instances, lost their lives during the Sturgis Buffalo Chip’s® Military Tribute Day.

In addition to official Freedom Celebration events, you have the opportunity throughout the Rally to honor those who have served by visiting several meaningful military tributes located at Buffalo Chip’s free-access CrossRoads and purchasing an official Buffalo Chip Red Shirt to benefit worthy veterans charities.

Veteran’s Charity Auction
Bring home some cool biker gear, a brand-new firearm, a one-of-a-kind piece of memorabilia or even a 1990 HD FXLR Custom, completely redone with military-themed graphics from one of the top airbrush artists in the world! It’s all up for grabs at the Freedom Celebration Veteran’s Charity Auction at the Buffalo Chip Gardens (near the East Gate)Thursday, Aug. 8 from 4:00-5:30. All are invited to attend and participate in this live and silent auction benefitting charities America’s Mighty Warriors and The Warrior Dog Foundation.

Bob Hanson Distinguished Service Award
Each year the Buffalo Chip chooses members of our military to honor for their courage, sacrifices and heroic patriotism. Past recipients of this award include Retired Navy SEAL Richard “Skipper” Marcinko, Senator John McCain, Colonel Steve Ritchie, Bob Woodruff, Retired Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods and Former Navy SEAL Glen Doherty. Buffalo Chip President Rod Woodruff will present this award to this year’s honorees on the main stage before a performance from Toby Keith.

Veteran’s Trike Presentation
After sacrificing for our freedoms, combat amputee Senior Airman Justin Day will receive a large part of his back when he receives a custom trike designed with his needs in mind. The specially modified trike will be presented on the Buffalo Chip Main Stage during a special 2019 Freedom Celebration presentation.

Veteran Assistance K9 Program Service Dog Presentation
For his dedication to the security of this great nation, Special Operations Wounded Warriors and Baden K9 have teamed up to present Retired Navy SEAL Master Chief Oscar Sosa Jr. with a specially trained Belgian Malinois on the Buffalo Chip’s main stage prior to Toby Keith’s performance. The dog’s name, “Reaper One,” was chosen in remembrance of Retired Navy Seal and SOWW board member Master Chief Ron “Reaper One” Bellan. Master Chief Bellan served as a Navy Seal for over 23 years and on the SOWW board over seven, where he continued to support his Special Forces brothers. Both Master Chief Bellan and Master Chief Oscar Sosa Jr. are highly respected by their peers and we thank them for their selfless dedication to our great country.

Special Guests
Share the day with some of our nation’s most inspiring and insightful authors, speakers, activists and retired military personnel, who will be giving speeches, signing books and mingling with guests.

Color Guard
A military branch color guard will be presenting the colors on the Wolfman Jack Stage prior to a moving rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.

Freedom Celebration Events

Freedom Field
Walk or ride through a majestic display of nearly 1,000 proudly waving American Flags near the West Campground Entrance. Freedom Field honors soldiers past and present, including those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. One stately flag stands every 10 feet surrounding a reflection area containing a memorial stone honoring all branches of the military and POWs. This display is open every day during the rally, but on Freedom Celebration Day you’re invited to join a special toast to those who have served in the southwest corner at 3 p.m.

AVTT Veterans Memorial Wall
Standing proudly behind the Battlefield Cross Sculpture and Freedom Field is the AVTT Veterans Memorial Wall. Each year the Patriot Guard Riders assist in putting up this wall so you can see the names and pay your respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice while defending our freedoms.