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Fri, Dec. 06

City hopes to build upon success of 2013 Veterans Day Parade

Courier file<br>
Grand Marshal Alfonso Santillan salutes the crowd during the 2013 Veterans Day parade in Prescott.

Courier file<br> Grand Marshal Alfonso Santillan salutes the crowd during the 2013 Veterans Day parade in Prescott.

PRESCOTT - Going into the second year at its new downtown venue, the Prescott Veterans Day Parade is vying this year for even more participation from the community.

The City of Prescott took on the event from the previous location at the VA Medical Center in 2013, and Prescott Special Events Manager Becky Karcie estimates that as many as 3,000 people came out last year to see the parade's 74 entries circle the Yavapai County Courthouse Plaza.

The parade-entry numbers were up significantly from the year before, when 48 entries participated.

Officials from both the VA and the city hoped at the time that the move from the VA to downtown Prescott would help to raise awareness in the community about the annual parade.

The strategy apparently worked, and Karcie said the city is hoping to build on that success this year. "Of course, we'd like to see more people come out this year to honor our veterans," she said.

For instance, Karcie suggests that local schools "come out and be a part of the parade or line our parade route..." She added: "This would be a great school project to learn about the Vietnam War and our serving branches."

Although the parade will pay tribute to all veterans, Karcie said this year's event will put a special focus on those who served in the Vietnam War.

The grand marshals for the parade likely will be from the Vietnam era, although Karcie said the city is still working to confirm who will serve in the role.

The parade will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 11, at 11 a.m. - to commemorate the armistice between Germany and the Allied forces at 11 a.m., Nov. 11, 1918, which ended World War I.

Opening ceremonies will begin at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 11, and will feature two to three speakers, as well as the National Anthem and the presentation of the colors.

With about two months to go, the city is just beginning to get parade entries. Karcie recently sent notices to all who participated last year, and about five have already signed up.

Others who are interested in having an entry in the parade can call Karcie at 928-777-1349. "Hopefully, we'll have more this year," she said. "I'd love to see more bands."

The parade does not allow campaign entries by political candidates because, Karcie said, "This is to honor our men and women who have served."

Application to be in the parade is free, and winners will receive awards in several categories, including: non-profit, fraternal organizations, motorized groups, music, marching units, hospital entries by veterans, and best overall, the "super hero award."

To help make the event stand out, Karcie said this year's parade will feature special T-shirts that tie in with the theme, "Remembering - the sacrifices, the Super Service, the ones still serving."

Proceeds from the T-shirt sales will go to a non-profit organization, which has yet to be determined. Karcie said the T-shirts will be available at various retail outlets, and the details will be announced later.

"Our goal is to have everyone line the parade with a T-shirt showing our pride and thanks to all our 'super servers,'" Karcie said.

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