Prescott Veterans Day Parade set for downtown Nov. 11
Opening ceremonies at 10:30 a.m., parade at 11 a.m.
Updated as of Saturday, November 9, 2019 2:07 PM
In the largest Veterans Day Parade ever in downtown Prescott, nearly 100 entries are expected to take to the streets Monday, Nov. 11.
While the Prescott Veterans Day Parade typically attracts 80 or more entries, Prescott Recreation Services Manager Michelle Stacy-Schroeder said this year’s event has 97 entries signed up to participate.
“That is the most ever,” she said, adding that last year’s parade had 82 entries.
This year’s lineup will include everything from the popular Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s ROTC groups to a new entry from the Arizona National Guard to marching bands.
Stacy-Schroeder estimates that the parade annually attracts 2,000 to 4,000 spectators to downtown.
Opening ceremonies will take place at 10:30 a.m. on a stage at the intersection of Cortez and Union streets, with the parade beginning at 11 a.m., and circling the Yavapai County Courthouse plaza area.
The opening ceremonies will feature comments from a number of local officials, including State Sen. Karen Fann who will serve as master of ceremonies, Yavapai County Supervisor Craig Brown, Prescott Mayor Greg Mengarelli, and VA Medical Center Director Barbara Oemcke.
This year’s parade theme is: “Honoring Korean War Veterans: Never Forget Their Service.”
The five grand marshals — all local men in their 80s — include:
• John McKinney, who served as a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps. McKinney, the current commander of the Korean War Veterans Association-H. Edward Reeves Chapter 311, is a Purple Heart recipient who served at the Battle of Heartbreak Ridge. McKinney, 89, has been a resident of Prescott since 2004.
• George Thyden, 88, who retired as a major in the U.S. Marine Corps. He currently serves as the 1st vice commander of the Korean War Veterans Association-H. Edward Reeves Chapter 11. Thyden lives in Chino Valley.
• Jack Palmer, who served as a corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps. Palmer currently serves as 2nd vice commander of the Korean War Veterans Association-H. Edward Reeves Chapter 311. He is a resident of Prescott and is 85.
• Bruce Bikson, 88, who served as an aviation ordnance airman in the U.S. Navy. Bikson, the current judge advocate for the Korean War Veterans Association-H. Edward Reeves Chapter 311, lives in Prescott Valley.
• Chuck Stohr, 83, who served as a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps. He is a past commander of the Korean War Veterans Association-H. Edward Reeves Chapter 11, and is a resident of Prescott.
The parade entries consist of seven categories, including:
• Fraternal or Military Organizations;
• Motorized Groups;
• Marching Units;
• Hospital entries by Veterans;
• Non-Profit Organizations; and,
• Commercial / Business.
Each category will have a first-place winner, and all entries will compete for a best-overall award.
A city news release urges the public to attend the annual parade. “There will be a main stage, and free covered seating for veterans on Cortez Street at Union,” the news release states. “Everyone is invited to attend, and encouraged to wear patriotic colors.”
City of Prescott offices will be closed on Monday in observance of Veterans Day and will reopen at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12.
The news release adds that the Solid Waste Division will be collecting residential trash and recyclables on Monday, and commercial routes will also be serviced that day. “Please have your containers curbside by 6 a.m.,” the release adds.