Through the generosity of Sedalia businessman Jorge Guevara, 200 military personnel from Whiteman Air Force Base will enjoy the opening night concert of the 2016 Missouri State Fair on Thursday night.

Guevara purchased 200 track seats for the servicemen and women, who will attend the 3 Doors Down concert. Opening act will be Shaman's Harvest.

Randy Kirby

"We contacted the 509th Security Forces Squadron. We work with them through the (Sedalia Area) Chamber of Commerce," Guevara explained. "And they informed me that for such a high number of tickets, they would pass them on to their Public Relations and they would distribute the tickets."

The reason for Guevara's generosity, through his company GUESA USA, is to show Sedalia's support of the Whiteman Base from the Sedalia community. "This is not just a gift from Steak 'n Shake or Dairy Queen, this is from our community. Because obviously the money we make at our restaurants is from our community, so we're just giving it back to them," he said.

"We want everybody to know that Sedalia supports them," Guevara of the base, originally named the Sedalia Army Air Field. "Sedalia is the place for them to do business. We want them to understand our appreciation and how much we care for them," he added.

He noted that the Dairy Queen trailer will once again make an appearance at the Missouri State Fair. It will be located north of the grandstand. "It's a great opportunity for kids to pick up some extra hours. And free admission, we pay for our employees' admission out there," Guevera said, adding that this is DQ's second year in that location. DQ employees will be selling tasty treats at the 2016 Fair from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

"I continue to do it, mostly because it's fun to see an employee take ownership and responsibility of running their own stand," Guevara said.