The parade, complete with floats from 30 local organizations and businesses, will start at 11 a.m. on Saturday, with participants gathering on Commerce Street. The parade will commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the end of World War I, formerly known as Armistice Day. President Dwight Eisenhower changed the holiday to Veterans Day in 1954.
From its starting point on Commerce Street, the parade will trail left down State of Franklin Road, then left onto Legion Street where it will end at the Memorial Park Community Center near the World War I Doughboy statue.
Bryan Lauzon, commander of the local American Legion post, said that as best he can figure, Johnson City hasn’t had a Veterans Day parade since the 1970s, he speculates because of the domestic tension spurred by America’s involvement with the Vietnam War.
He said he hopes to continue moving forward with the parade so that Johnson City will have an annual, community-wide celebration of veterans.
“It’s time to bring it back and time to get it done,” he said.
Lauzon said the parade has been in the works since April, but he wasn’t able to secure a band for this year’s event, but said he hopes to secure one of the region’s high school bands for next year.
The parade will also have a dose of history, honoring the Overmountain Men — the soldiers who gathered at Sycamore Shoals to march to face British troops in the American Revolution — all the way through veterans who have served in the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
And rain, or shine, the show will go on, Lauzon said.
A Veterans Day Ceremony will follow on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Johnson City/Washington County Veterans Memorial, 703 W. Main St.
Here are some other Veterans Day events this weekend:
Mon. 10:45 a.m.
|ETSU Veterans Day Ceremony
||Behind Gilbreath Hall, main campus
||Sun 2:30 p.m.
||Veterans Day concert and service
||Visitors Center, 117 Boone St.
||Sat. 4-7 p.m.
||South Central Ruritan Veterans Day Dinner
||2636 Highway 107, Chuckey
||Sun. 2:30 p.m
||U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America jazz concert
||Renaissance Center, 1200 E. Center St.
||Sat 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
||Veterans Day luncheon
||Tourist Information Center, 106 Unicoi Village Place
|Sun. 2 p.m.
||Veterans Day ceremony
||Veterans Park, 309 Academy St., Erwin
||Sat 11 a.m.
||Veterans Day ceremony
||Heritage Hall Theatre,211 N. Church St.
||Sat. and Sun 10 a.m.
||Overmountain Victory Trail Celebration and Harvest Festival
||Sycamore Shoals, 1651 W. Elk Ave.
Email Jessica Fuller at [email protected] Follow Jessica on Twitter @fullerjf91. Like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jfullerJCP.