ST. GEORGE — One St. George man hopes the natural connection between veterans will spread to the community during a Nov. 10-11 celebration at Ancestor Square.

Coinciding with Veterans Day, the event will feature live music and business discounts to raise money for the nonprofit Southern Utah Veterans Association.

George’s Corner at Ancestor Square where there will be a activities and discounts from all of the stores for Veterans Day, St. George, Utah, Nov. 1, 2023 | Photo by Stephanie DeGraw, St. George News

“It’s so important to come to Ancestor Square to honor our ancestors who have protected us,” U.S Air Force veteran Michael Brant told St. George News. “All the businesses in Ancestor Square are participating with their own individual deal.”

Brant, a real estate agent and grant writer who spent eight years in the Air Force, said service people simply connect when they meet. He hopes this bond will extend beyond veterans themselves and spark a movement downtown.

“I wanted to reinvigorate and provide electricity and Veterans Day is the best opportunity to do both of those things,” said Brant, who lives downtown and wants to re-energize the area.

David Cordero, the Southern Utah Veterans Association housing director, told St. George News the proceeds from the event will assist the group to form a Veteran’s Chamber of Commerce. The nonprofit is a member of the St. George Area chamber but will also develop a separate chamber and launch in January 2024.

“We look to cultivate veteran and first responders startups to lead our city with innovation, jobs and excitement for years to come,” Cordero said.

The organization’s website states, “The Southern Utah Veterans Association was established to assist veterans and others in their recovery from Post Traumatic Stress and other issues that affect their ability to lead productive lives.”

Ancestor Square will host activities and discounts from all of the stores for Veterans Day, St. George, Utah, Nov. 1, 2023 | Photo by Stephanie DeGraw, St. George News

The Veterans Day events will include the St. George Photo Booth and a flag ceremony at midday. Brant said businesses are still signing up to offer discounts for those who served in the military. So far 25 businesses are participating. There will be free breakfasts and lunches for veterans as well.

Brant added that Veterans Day is also known as Remembrance Day

“It’s great for everyone alive, but it’s called Remembrance Day for a reason; it’s to remember our ancestors, which is why it’s important to go to Ancestor Square on Veterans Day this year,” Brant said. “It’s important for us to support each other and our community.”

Brant said he appreciates the businesses that have joined in the activities to support the celebration. Rise and Wander will mark its anniversary and plans live music and games. Brant added that the owner, Monica Brackenwith, has gone the extra mile in preparing for the celebration and is very supportive of veterans.

Brant explained that Veterans Day is like Christmas for many who served in the military.

“A lot of us don’t have families, and when you offer a deal like this particular day, not only does it feel good, but you gain a customer for life. So it’s win/win for everybody,” Brant said.

In addition to business discounts, lanyards will be available for the veterans during the two-day event. He said it is vital for veterans to know who supports them. There will also be a party with live music at the Rise and Wander shop each day with giveaways.

“We want to support the businesses who support us,” Brant said.

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