VFW Post 8577 gearing up for Veterans Day Parade
Fri, 2016-11-04 05:00 News Staff
By LYNETTE SOWELL
The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8577 is preparing for the 47th annual Veterans Day Parade, set for next Friday, Nov. 11, starting at 10 a.m.
The event will kick off with cannon fire at the post at approximately 9:55 a.m.
About 45 groups have signed up to participate so far, said post commander Willie Fields on Tuesday. Units include civic groups, marching bands, auto clubs, equestrian units and motorcycle clubs.
The parade route begins at the post headquarters on 1506 Veterans Ave and then will go east on Veterans Avenue until it reaches Main Street, where it will take a left, then take the curve by Grace United Methodist Church onto Avenue F. The parade route continues, going right on South First Street, then making another right onto Avenue D, where the procession will continue to the Cove Terrace Shopping Center parking lot.
Fields expects more groups to sign up to march or drive the one-and-a-half mile route.
“It always seems there are some who wait until the last minute to sign up,” Fields said. “We don’t encourage waiting, but we won’t turn anyone away who’d like to participate.”
This year’s grand marshal is a veteran of three foreign wars to include World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, but the name of that veteran was not confirmed as of press time Thursday.
Another longstanding tradition related to the VFW’s parade is its changing theme every year. For the 2016 parade, Fields said the theme is “Stars and Stripes and Veterans Forever”.
“Usually the theme has something about veterans in the title, so this is a little different,” he said. Veterans’ groups that meet at the VFW such as the local American Legion, the Military Order of the Cooties, and the 40 and 8, will be among those participating in the parade, he added.
Participating groups will start lining up at 8 a.m. at the post next Friday, with floats and overflow groups lining up at the Fairview side of the Fairview/Jewell Elementary Parking lot.
First and second place trophies will be awarded in categories to include Band, Marching Unit, Float, Decorated Car/Truck and Horse Unit after the parade.
After the awards ceremony at the post, the VFW will serve up its traditional beans and cornbread meal, along with desserts.
For more information about the parade, visit the VFW 8577’s website, vfw8577.com/veterans-day-parade.html, or call the post at (254) 547-1516.