By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
USO Show coming to Woodward
Denver & Mile High Orchestra playing in Manteca
Denver Bierman - photo by Photo Contributed
Denver & the Mile High Orchestra is bringing its big band-style music along with a healthy dose of diverse sounds such as Earth, Wine & Fire, Stevie Wonder, and Chicago to a free show on Sunday, May 30, starting at 3 p.m. at Woodward Park.

It is part of a three-day Memorial Day Weekend commemoration that includes honoring the fallen with 5,800 white crosses representing those who have fallen in the War on Terror, aerial fireworks to welcome home those who have served America, entertainment, a parade, and the solemn dedication of a panel of the Traveling Tribute to fallen Congressional Medal of Honor recipient and Navy Seal Michael Monsoor, a USO-style show, and much more.

Denver Bierman is the creative force behind the band that features a red hot horn section that emphasizes its jazz and big band roots. Denver & the Mile High Orchestra gained national attention when they made the finale of “The Next Great American Band” - a spin-off of FOX -TV’s American Idol.

The band, which actually defies being pinned down to a specific genre, offers contemporary pop sensibility with a string influence of the great horn bands of the past combined with silky smooth vocals to offer up images of blues, funk, and soul.

Denver & the Mile High Orchestra are performing today, Saturday and Sunday in Moscow, Russia. The Manteca performance is their second performance after returning stateside and it is also free.

They are set to play as part of the free USO Show & dance that gets underway at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 30.

A breakdown of the planned activities are as follows:

Saturday, May 29
Dedication of the “ninth panel” of the Traveling Tribute to those who have given their lives in the Global War on Terror is being dedicated at 5:30 p.m.  The public is encouraged to attend and help give a hero’s welcome to the Gold Star families who will be arriving by motorcade at Woodward Park.  People who would like to attend should be there no later than 5 p.m. where they will be directed by East Union High School JROTC commander Karl Knutsen as to where they should stand creating a human corridor for the arrival of the Gold Star families.  

This ceremony is expected to last 45 minutes and will mark the official opening of the Memorial consisting of 5,800 crosses, the Traveling Tribute and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  Once the memorial is opened it will remain open until 6 p.m. Memorial Day, Monday, May 31.
Sunday, May 30
• Breakfast will be served from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. The $5 donation benefits the Memorial Day event.

• The 5k run/walk begins at 8 a.m. at Woodward Park. Those wishing to register for the run can do so by downloading the application from the website  Runners and walkers may also register the day of the event.

•The classic car show will be registering participants beginning at 8 a.m.  If you have a classic car, motorcycle, or unique vehicle, bring it out and register for the car show on the spot.  You may also preregister by downloading the application from the website.  

•Three helicopters will be landing by 10 a.m. Anyone wishing to be present during the landing should arrive no later than 9 a.m.  

• Pastor Mike Dillman and the congregation of the Place of Refuge will be joining with Word Alive Fellowship from Mi-Wuk to conduct a public worship service at 11 a.m. in the park.  Pastor Dillman will be speaking and all vets present will be presented with a “Not Forgotten” commemorative hat.

•The concessions, kids’ energy zone, petting zoo, car show, and exhibits as well as the 50-state memorial with 5,800 crosses will all open at 11 a.m.  

•The community entertainment begins at 1 p.m. with the USO show and dance following at 3 p.m. featuring Denver and the Mile High Orchestra.  

• The evening ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. with master of ceremony Phil Waterford featuring wounded warriors, vets of all generations, Congressman Jerry McNerney, a Navy jet flyover and a 21-gun salute using Army cannons.

• The evening fireworks to celebrate the safe return of all who have served will begin at 8:30 p.m.