The Veterans Day National Committee and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs have designated Auburn as a regional site for the celebration of Veterans Day 2020. The city is also a Vietnam War Commemorative Partner. The city has hosted the Veterans Parade since 1965. Now in its 55th year, the parade has grown into one of the largest parades of its kind in the United States of America.
Although COVID-19 restrictions prevent the city from holding a parade and other activities in the traditional way this year, it is still committed to honoring the nation’s veterans in 2020 and will be offering Auburn’s Salute to Veterans this November. The five-day celebration starts on Saturday, Nov. 7, with a vehicle procession, features a variety of video tributes and other special activities and culminates with a remembrance ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 11.
Here is a schedule of the planned activities for 2020:
■ 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, Veterans Vehicle Procession, Veterans Memorial Park, 411 E St. SE.
This event will give both parade participants and our loyal spectators an opportunity to participate. Participation in the procession is tailored for veterans, active military members, veteran service organizations, historic military vehicles, living history groups and other veteran-related groups.
Procession participants will do a drive-through contactless check-in at Veterans Memorial Park and enter the procession route. Procession participants will receive a memento item at check-in that will identify their vehicles as part of the procession so spectators to more easily identify them and cheer them on. Community groups and parade spectators should find a spot along the procession route to welcome veterans along the way.
This is meant to be a fun twist to the traditional parade. The vehicle procession route is 3 miles long — roughly 6 times the length of the traditional parade — allowing for social distancing for spectators. It is imperative that the spectators follow social distancing and other COVID safety requirements while viewing the procession.
■ 6:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 8, virtual veterans tribute program.
This virtual program will include live performances, patriotic music, inspirational stories and a walk down memory lane. The program will be showcased on all of Auburn’s social media outlets at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 8.
■ Monday, Nov. 9, virtual veterans museum showcase
A thoughtfully compiled list of virtual exhibits at local and national veterans museums, along with a handful of local artifacts and historical stories curated by the White River Valley Museum.
■ 9-11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10, Sweet Treats for Vets (sponsored in part by the Auburn Noon Lions), Auburn Senior Activity Center, 808 Ninth St. SE.
Coffee and cinnamon rolls for veterans and active military. This is slated to be a drive-through event at the Auburn Senior Activity Center. So the city can properly plan, it will require guests to complete a simple registration form to RSVP for this free event. RSVP’ing is available through noon Nov. 6. The Auburn Noon Lions Club are sponsoring the event.
■ 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov.11, virtual remembrance ceremony.
A pre-recorded ceremony from a previous year to celebrate Veterans Day. Take some time to thank a veteran for their service and sacrifice. Official forms and helpful information are available on the city’s website at www.auburnwa.gov.
■ Registration/RSVP for Sweet Treats for Vets event at the Auburn Senior Activity Center from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10. Deadline to register is 12 p.m. Nov. 6.
■ Salute to Veterans Create-a-Sign activity (PDF). Print out a sign template and display it on Nov. 7 during the vehicle procession. If you would like to pick up a pre-printed sign or a template in person: Stop by the Auburn Community and Event Center between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Nov. 6, or pick up at the Auburn Senior Center 12:30-3 p.m. Ring the doorbell for assistance.
There is no parade parking in local business’ parking lots. Please be courteous when parking in the areas surrounding the procession route.
For dining and lodging information, visit www.exploreauburn.com.