WILLIAMS, Ariz. - The seventh annual Nation of Patriots Tour is coming to Williams July 22 for the national passing the flag event.
Motorcycle riders and supporters are raising awareness and seeking donations to assist wounded veterans from the last three military campaigns who are in need. The tour passes through 48 states and draws in hundreds of motorcyclists. The riders carry the flag across the country for 100 days, passing it off between states.
The Nation of Patriots is a volunteer organization that raises money in each state through donations.
Arizona Nation of Patriots Vice-Chairman Rick Bitzer said all of the donations raised in Arizona will stay in Arizona and will be paid directly to the veterans who need it.
The group requests a minimum $5 donation to join the flag escort as it crosses the state. The group also asks businesses to place donation canisters, posters and flyers for the tour.
The flag and riders will arrive in Arizona July 22 with National founders Bill and Margo Sherer attending many of the events.
The first official stop will be at the Elks Lodge in Winslow around 11:30 a.m. Riders are invited to join the group from New Mexico and continue the escort.
The tour expects to arrive in Flagstaff around 1 p.m. where police will escort the group through town.
After the event the group will leave for Bellemont where a flag exchange will take place around 2 p.m. Grand Canyon Harley Davidson will host a gathering with food and drink at 12:30 while supporters wait for the flag to arrive.
At 4 p.m. the flag and riders will leave Bellemont and continue to Williams where the group will spend the night.
Bitzer said Williams has been named the first Nation of Patriots city for its down-home Americana patriotism and support for the Nation of Patriots. He said the community of Williams is invited to participate in any of the festivities.
There will be a $20 dinner for all participants at the Wild West Junction, which will include chicken, beef brisket, beans, dessert and entertainment by Denny and Christine Clark. There will be a fashion show by Black and Birch Apparel and a raffle of locally donated items. A portion of the proceeds will go toward the Nation of Patriots.
At 9 a.m., a remembrance service takes place at the Williams Memorial Park hosted by the American Legion. There will also be guest speakers and presentations.
At 10 a.m., the group will honor and thank the city by doing a flag tour through downtown Williams.
Bitzer wanted to thank the city for their support and hospitality.
At 10:15 a.m., the riders and flag will depart Williams for the next flag hand-off in Laughlin, Nevada.
Anyone interested in sponsoring, volunteering or donating raffle items can contact Williams Area Coordinator Diana Croteau at (928)637-4646. The Nation of Patriots tour can be followed at www.arizonanationofpatriots.com.