Fayette County

Crew of USS Ashland visit Lexington for Armed Forces Day

Crew members from the USS Ashland, a Navy ship named for Henry Clay's estate, are coming to Lexington to help observe Armed Forces Day on Saturday.

The sailors will visit Henry Clay High School on Friday, then attend the official Armed Forces Day Family Fun Fair, featuring food, entertainment and activities for kids from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday at Lexington's NorthEast Christian Church, 990 Star Shoot Parkway.

The observance winds up with an Armed Forces Day Community Salute to Troops at the church from 6 to 8 p.m., with Coast Guard Rear Admiral John Welch as guest speaker.

The event is sponsored by the Bluegrass Military Affairs Coalition.

While the Ashland sailors are in Lexington they will also visit Henry Clay's memorial at Lexington Cemetery and tour the Henry Clay estate.

The USS Ashland, based near Norfolk, Va., is a dock landing ship, a vessel that can carry and launch landing craft and amphibious vehicles for combat beach landing operations. The ship normally carries about 400 officers and sailors, plus about 500 U.S. Marines. The Central Kentucky Council of the Navy League is officially adopting the Ashland for 2012 and helped arrange the crew members' visit to Lexington.

Other Armed Forces Day activities in Lexington on Saturday will include a motorcycle "poker run," with about 250 riders making a patriotic ride through parts of Central Kentucky in a salute to service members. The cyclists will finish their tour at NorthEast Christian Church, where their cycles will be on display at the fun fair.

The fair will feature entertainment by GraceX4, Ruby Wiant and Dean Weddle, as well as displays of restored military vehicles and activities for youngsters.

The fun fair is free and open to the public; donations to the BMAC KY Wounded Warrier Program will be accepted.

For more information call (859) 971-8737 or go to Bmaconline.org.