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Auburn prepares for 45th Veterans Day Parade and Observance

The U.S. Army State and Territorial Flag Marching Unit is part of the Auburn Veterans Day Parade tradition. - Reporter file photo
The U.S. Army State and Territorial Flag Marching Unit is part of the Auburn Veterans Day Parade tradition.
— image credit: Reporter file photo

Flags, families and thousands of veterans will line Main Street in Auburn for the mile-long Veterans Day Parade to be held at 11 a.m. Saturday.

The parade will proceed west on Main from E Street Southeast to A Street Northwest near Auburn City Hall over a period of approximately two hours.

The Veterans Day Parade will pay special tribute to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). Bill Peloza, commander of Auburn VFW Post No. 1741 and appointed by the state commander of the VFW, will serve as the parade grand marshal as well as the guest speaker at the Veterans Day Luncheon following the parade.

The Auburn Veterans Day Parade, one of the largest of its type west of the Mississippi, is celebrating its 45th year. The National Veterans Day Committee and the U.S. Department of Defense have once again selected Auburn as one of the few regional sites for Veterans Day Observance this year.

Preceded by a military C-17 fly-over from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the parade boasts approximately 200 units showcasing American strength of will, endurance and purpose. The parade will feature more than 30 high school marching bands, as well as local Junior ROTC units, honor guards, military units and antique military vehicles. Spectators also will enjoy the procession of veteran units, drill teams, community and scouting groups, intermixed with floats, antique and classic cars and other entries of interest.

Spectators are advised to arrive early, bring a folding chair, a flag, their best salute and plenty of tissue.

There also will also be many other events in Auburn to celebrate and honor Veterans:

Vietnam Veterans Traveling Wall Exhibit

Thursday-Sunday – Open 24 hours, Veterans Memorial Park, 411 E St. NE

Visit an unforgettable exhibit that pays tribute to the men and women who served in the U.S. Armed Forces during the Vietnam conflict. Make plans to visit the half-scale replica of the Washington, D.C.-based Vietnam Memorial Wall during the limited time it is in Auburn. The wall contains 58,249 names of those killed or missing in action from the conflict. The exhibit includes a 53’ museum and computers with databases available to help located names on the wall. The exhibit is open to the public.

American Legion Post #78 Breakfast

Saturday, 7-9:30 a.m., Auburn Senior Activity Center, 808 Ninth St. SE

Co-sponsored by the American Legion Post No. 78 and the City of Auburn. A generous breakfast for $6 includes pancakes, eggs, ham and juice or coffee.

Static Display and Exhibit Showcase

Saturday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., South Division Street (perpendicular to parade route)

Displays and information booths will fill South Division Street. These displays may include military vehicles and equipment and informational booths relating to veterans and the military. Scheduled to participate in the exhibit showcase is, among others, the United States Army, Soldiers’ Angels Washington, the United States Army Reserve – 301st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade and Vets Meet Vets.

Veterans Remembrance Ceremony and Lighting of the Flame

Saturday, 9:45 a.m.-10:15 a.m., Veterans Memorial Park, 411 E St. NE

The special ceremony will feature patriotic music, an honor guard and 21-gun salute. Once lit, the flame at the Veterans Memorial will be guarded for 24 hours.

Veterans Day Marching Band Competition

Saturday, 1-10 p.m., Auburn Memorial Stadium, 801 Fourth St. NE

More than 30 bands will compete in the field competition, which includes great music, drill and precision performances. Admission is charged at the stadium gate (discount ticket prices available for students, children and seniors).

Auburn Noon Lions Veterans Day Luncheon

Saturday, 1:30 p.m., Truitt Building, 102 W. Main St., second floor

The luncheon, hosted by the Auburn Noon Lions Club and the City of Auburn, will pay special tribute to the VFW and recognize the Outstanding Service to Veterans Program, as awarded by the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs. A limited seating event. Reserve your seat today for $15 per person by calling 253-931-3043.

VFW Auburn Post #1741 Open House

Saturday, 3-5 p.m., VFW Post No. 1741, 1525 A St. NE, Suite 107

The VFW Auburn Post #1741 is honoring all veterans by hosting an open house.

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For more information about the 45th annual Auburn Veterans Day Parade and other activities, visit www.auburnwa.gov, or contact the City of Auburn Parks, Arts & Recreation Department at 253-931-3043.

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