Partnership to Bring Veterans Day Parade Downtown Creates New Opportunities for Statewide Participation
by Pete Wertheim, Communications & Public Affairs Manager, City of Prescott, AZ.
As Veterans Day parades around the country are being downsized due to financial strains and other factors, the City of Prescott has taken steps to partner with the VA Medical Center to bolster Prescott’s Veterans Day Parade.
This year the City of Prescott gladly accepted an offer from the VA Medical Center to move the parade from the VA Medical Center to downtown Prescott. In recent years, the parade at the VA Medical Center had been challenged by limited space, limited public visibility, and diminishing resources. The downtown area provides significantly more room for spectators and entries into the parade.
The parade will take place on November 11 and will circle the downtown area beginning at 11 a.m.
“It is a great honor for the City of Prescott to participate in this important event honoring our country’s finest heroes,” said Mayor Marlin Kuykendall. “Paying tribute to the veterans who serve on our behalf is the highest priority for our community. We hope moving the parade downtown will inspire more people to come out and celebrate with our veterans and pay their respects.”
“We are extremely excited about the new parade venue and our partnership with the City of Prescott,” said VA Medical Center Director Donna Jacobs. “Moving the parade downtown has made it possible for us to expand it and allow more people in the community and throughout the entire state to come to downtown Prescott and pay tribute to our veterans.”
This year’s theme is “Hometown Heroes We Salute You” and it is Prescott’s honor to have four local Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame inductees to be our Grand Marshals:
- Nat Robbins, World War II veteran
- James “Bill” Johnston, Korean War Veteran
- Al Santallan Jr., Vietnam War Veteran
- Renée Ball, Vietnam-era Veteran
The city is bringing a few new ideas such as a flyover to start the parade. This year there will five categories of parade participants:
1. Fraternal Organizations
2. Motorized Groups
3. Music & Marching Units
4. Hospital entries by veterans
5. Non-Profit Organizations
Each entry will have a first and second palace winner with a first place trophy for Best Overall; this will be our “Heroes at Home Award.”
Prior to the start of the parade there will be an opening ceremony at 10:30 a.m. at the Yavapai County Courthouse with speakers Mayor Marlin Kuykendall, VA Medical Center Director Donna Jacobs, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Chancellor Frank Ayers, and Senator John McCain.
Special accommodations will be provided by the VA Medical Center for transportation and seating for Veterans. Veterans can contact Voluntary Service at 928-776-6013 to arrange special transportation. For those who cannot attend the parade, it will be broadcast locally on Prescott’s Access 13 channel.