Veterans Day Parade takes to the streets of downtown Prescott Monday morning
PRESCOTT - More than 70 entries, a visiting U.S. Senator, and an airplane fly-over at a historically significant moment will highlight Monday's Veterans Day Parade in downtown Prescott.
The parade will take place at 11 a.m., and will circle downtown streets, beginning at Willis Street, and continuing on to Cortez, Goodwin, and Montezuma.
Prescott Special Events Manager Becky Karcie said a flurry of entries in the past week brings the total to more than 70 - well above the 40 to 50 that have participated in previous local Veterans Day parades. Earlier this year, the city and the VA Medical Center agreed to move the parade from its long-time location at the VA to downtown Prescott to allow for a larger event.
VA Medical Center Director Donna Jacobs expressed enthusiasm for the move. "We are extremely excited about the new parade venue and our partnership with the City of Prescott," Jacobs said in a city news release.
"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," Jacobs added.
Mayor Marlin Kuykendall also was optimistic that the move would help to grow the event. "We hope moving the parade downtown will inspire more people to come out and celebrate with our veterans and pay their respects," he said.
Another recent addition to the event is a planned visit by U.S. Sen. John McCain, who will be speaking at the 10:30 opening ceremony near the corner of Union and Cortez streets, Karcie said, and will also take part in the parade.
The parade also will commemorate the 1918 armistice between the Allied nations and Germany in World War I by including an airplane flyover at 11:11 a.m. The timing will honor the agreement that went into effect at 11 a.m. Nov. 11, 1918 (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month), ending the war.
The theme for the parade is "Hometown Heroes We Salute You," and the grand marshals will include four local veterans: Nat Robbins, World War II veteran; James "Bill" Johnston, Korean War veteran; Al Santillan Jr., Vietnam War veteran; and Renée Ball, Vietnam-era veteran.
The parade will feature five categories of entries: fraternal organizations, motorized groups, music and marching units, hospital entries by veterans, and non-profit organizations. A first-place trophy will be given for best overall, as well as awards for winners in each category.
The VA plans to make special accommodations for transportation and seating for veterans. The city news release stated that veterans may contact Voluntary Service at 928-776-6013 to arrange special transportation.
For those who cannot attend the parade, the event will be broadcast live on Prescott's Access 13 channel.
Follow Cindy Barks on Twitter@Cindy_Barks.