Wednesday, June 20 , 2018, 9:53 pm | Fair 63º


Santa Barbara Riders for Veterans Hold 3rd Annual Salute

Event at Santa Barbara Carriage Museum draws nearly 1,000 people on Sunday

Veterans sit atop a Sherman tank at the 3rd annual Salute to the Vets at the Santa Barbara Carriage Museum on Sunday Click to view larger
Veterans sit atop a Sherman tank at the 3rd annual Salute to the Vets at the Santa Barbara Carriage Museum on Sunday (Terri Scholl photo)

This past Sunday, on Nov. 8, the Santa Barbara Riders for Veterans Foundation and War Torn held their third annual Salute to the Vets at the Santa Barbara Carriage Museum.

With nearly 1,000 people in attendance, it was a huge success.

The event opened in earnest when the Santa Barbara City Fire Department began to slowly raise its hook and ladder with the American Flag attached and the national anthem was sung by Marika Millner, a graduate of Santa Barbara High.

You could see a few tears at the emotional display.

Music was by the Dusty Jugz aka the Rincons, and soon the line dancers all jumped in when they played the country music.

But the band mixed it up throughout the day with some of the oldies keeping it lively and fun for everyone.

There was a jump house for the kids along with arts and crafts and face painting.

Jamie and Karen Torgeson, who served up great sausage and tri-tip sandwiches along with beans and coleslaw, put on a fantastic BBQ. Beer had been donated by Firestone and Figueroa Mountain, and there was also wine and soda to appeal to all palettes.

One of the highlights of the day was the donated World War II Sherman tank donated by Bill Kiriakidis, which was constantly adorned with the pin-up girls who were photographed all day on this operational tank.

A pin-up girl talks to a sailor Sunday at the Salute to the Vets at the Santa Barbara Carriage Museum. Click to view larger
A pin-up girl talks to a sailor Sunday at the Salute to the Vets at the Santa Barbara Carriage Museum. (Terri Scholl photo)

And speaking of pin-up girls, the lovely ladies paraded the event all afternoon garnering votes, and then were asked questions before the crowd as a get-to-know-them before the voting took place.

This fun portion of the event is always a crowd-pleaser organized by Jenny Newton Designs and Athena Henson of Mission Tattoo.

Along with the regular events, there were also nearly 30 community-oriented vendors for the visitors to meet and greet. And nearly 100 raffle prizes were given away, all donated by our local community.

But the end result and primary purpose of the event was to raise funds for our local veterans and that goal was achieved. And it was achieved through the actions of those in attendance and those in the community who share the same commitment to help our local soldiers and guardians of our freedom.

To that end, the Third Annual Salute to the Vets was an enormous success and plans are already under way for next year.

SB Riders for Veterans Foundation is a non-profit 501c3. You can visit their website at


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