For the Reporter
Nearly 6,000 participants, 200 entries and 25 marching bands will proceed down Auburn’s Main Street from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday to mark the city’s 54th annual celebration of the strength of will and endurance of the United States.
With more than 10,000 spectators expected to take in the Veterans Day Parade, here’s a bit of advice: get there early, bring a folding chair, a flag, your snappiest salute and lots of tissue.
Oh, and an umbrella. After all, this is the Pacific Northwest, and you don’t want a splash or two to spoil your enjoyment of the colorful panoply of Junior ROTC units, honor guards, military units and antique military vehicles, veteran units, drill teams, community and scouting groups, intermixed with floats, antique and classic cars and other entries of interest.
This year’s parade pays special tribute to the service, valor and sacrifice of those who served in the Vietnam War.
It also honors the American Legion, which is celebrating its centennial this year, and will be showcased at the front of the parade, following its chosen Grand Marshal, Bob Clark. Chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness, the American Legion is the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization, committed to mentoring youth, sponsoring programs in their communities, advocating patriotism and helping fellow service members and veterans.
Here are other celebratory events slated for Saturday:
• American Legion community breakfast, 7-9:30 a.m.. Auburn Senior Activity Center. Co-sponsored by the American Legion Post 78 and the city of Auburn, the breakfast dishes up a generous serving of pancakes, eggs, ham and juice or coffee, all for $8. Tickets are available in advance or at the door.
• Static display and exhibit showcase, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., South Division Street and A Street Southeast. Offering more than 40 displays and information booths to include military vehicles and equipment and informational booths relating to veterans and the military. Among the participants will be the PBY-Naval Air Museum, the Wounded Warrior Project and the Federal Way Vet Center. The Washington Army National Guard plans to bring its rock wall – weather dependent – and military vehicles and equipment. A handful of food/beverage vendors will be included in the static display area. among them Fisher Fair Scones, KC Deez BBQ Truck and Tastyz Kettle Corn.
• Veterans Remembrance Ceremony and Lighting of the Flame, 9:45 a.m.-10:15 a.m., Veterans Memorial Park, 411 E St NE. This event offers patriotic music, an honor guard and a 21-gun salute. Once lit, the flame at the Veterans Memorial will be guarded for 24 hours.
• Veterans Day Marching Band Competition, 1-10 p.m., Auburn Memorial Stadium, 801 Fourth St. NE. More than 25 bands will compete in the field competition, which offers great music and drill and precision performances from some of the best high school marching bands in the Pacific Northwest. Admission is charged at the stadium gate – with discount ticket prices available for students, children and seniors.
• VFW Auburn Post #1741 Open House., 1-5 p.m., 1525 A St. NE, Suite 107.
For complete details, visit auburnwa.gov/vetsday.