Oct. 30, 2013
Public Information & Communications
Contact: Kevin Christopher
Mesa, AZ – The annual East Valley Veterans Parade in downtown Mesa to honor our nation’s veterans is starting a new tradition by holding the event on the Saturday before Veterans Day. The Military Veterans Parade Association has scheduled this year’s parade on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 11 a.m.
“Our association’s charter is to produce a parade that honors veterans. We will get a greater number of people to participate, both in the parade and as spectators, on a Saturday. This will give more people a chance to come out and support our veterans,” Military Veterans Parade Association President Jim Monroe said.
This year’s theme is “Honoring Our Veterans and Military, One Parade at a Time,” which celebrates all that our veterans have contributed and sacrificed for our freedom. The grand marshal is U.S. Army Colonel Joey Strickland (retired), former Arizona Department of Veterans Services Director. Service Representatives will represent all five branches of the U.S. military. They are Milton Schiff, U.S. Navy; David Althoff, U.S. Marine Corps; Gene Rafanelli, U.S. Army; Carl Schneider, U.S. Air Force and Kevin Cantrell, U.S. Coast Guard.
The parade will feature 115 entries including military support groups, high school marching bands, east valley city and town dignitaries, Girl and Boy Scout troops, and many other organizations and groups. The parade will include a replica of the USS Arizona escorted by Pearl Harbor survivors. The Arizona Fallen Soldiers Memorial Banners will be in the parade and will be carried by ROTC groups. There will also be many vintage military vehicles. Approximately 30,000 spectators are expected to attend and participate in the parade and festivities.
A fly-over by the Commemorative Air Force’s B-17 and B-25 aircraft will mark the start of the parade at 11 a.m. sharp. The parade route has been lengthened to 1.2 miles. The parade will begin on Center Street at 8th Street in Mesa and continue south on Center Street to 1st Avenue. The following streets are scheduled to be closed for the parade:
7 a.m. (parade staging)
8th Street – Center to Mesa Drive
6th Place – Center to Fitch Park Parking Lot
Center Street – Main St to 1st Street – northbound and southbound right lanes closed for bleacher set-up
Pepper Place – Closed at Center Street –local access at Macdonald and at Centennial Way
Center Street - 1st Ave to Broadway (de-staging area)
2nd Ave – Center Street to Sirrine - Local access at Sirrine
Parade Route Closed – University and Main Remain Open
Center Street – Brown to 1st Ave
2nd Street – Center Street to Macdonald
3rd Place – Macdonald to Lewis
1st Street – Macdonald to Centennial Way
University – Country Club to Mesa Drive.- local access from Country Club to Drew and from Mesa Drive to Pima
Main Street – Country Club to Mesa Drive – local access from Country Club to Macdonald and from Mesa Drive to Centennial Way
Through traffic will be detoured at Country Club and at Mesa Drive to Brown and Broadway. All streets should reopen to traffic by 2 p.m.
Following the parade, the USS Arizona replica and military vehicles will be on display until 3 p.m. in the parking lot at the south end of the Mesa Arts Center coinciding with the 19th Annual Arizona Asian Festival. During the display, you will also have an opportunity to meet the military dignitaries from the parade.
A panel of judges will be critiquing the parade entries. The winning entries will be recognized at the East Valley Veterans Parade Awards Luncheon Saturday, Nov. 16 at 1:30 p.m. at Organ Stop Pizza, 1149 E. Southern Ave.
For more information about the East Valley Veterans Parade, visit www.evvp.org
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