The Leavenworth County Veterans Day Parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. Monday in downtown Leavenworth.

The Leavenworth County Veterans Day Parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. Monday in downtown Leavenworth.

This will be the 94th year for the parade, which organizers call the nation's oldest regional Veterans Day observance.

The theme for this year's parade is "Stand for those who stood for you."

Diane Smith, secretary for the Leavenworth County Veterans Day Parade Committee, said the parade is slated to have 174 participants.

The parade will feature various dignitaries, soldiers from Fort Leavenworth, 9th and 10th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers, Tuskegee Airmen, Gold Star families, area World War II veterans, Boy and Girl Scouts, a Huey helicopter from the Vietnam War era, area school bands, equestrian groups, JROTC units, police and fire agencies from around the state, motorcycle and antique car groups, and representatives of veteran service and fraternal organizations.

The parade also will include a reenlistment ceremony, which will take place at reviewing stand at Seventh and Delaware streets.

The parade will be led by bagpipers and the 15th Military Police Brigade color guard from Fort Leavenworth.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Ronnie D. Hawkins Jr. will serve as the grand marshal for this year’s parade. Hawkins is the director of the Defense Information Systems Agency at Fort Meade, Md.

Smith said Hawkins spent a portion of his childhood in Leavenworth and still has family in the area.

Smith said the parade will be held rain or shine.

"Unless it's like a tornado blowing through there, the parade will go on," she said.

The parade will follow its traditional route, beginning at Fourth and Cherokee streets heading east to Esplanade, north to Delaware, west to Seventh Street, south to Cherokee and then east on Cherokee to Fifth Street where the parade will disband.

Smith said the parade should last about an hour and 45 minutes.

As is tradition, the parade will come to a halt at 11 a.m. for taps. This will be followed by a flyover by a 1942 Stearman airplane that was used as a pilot trainer during World War II. The airplane will be piloted by retired Maj. Dean Moburg.

The parade will feature masters of ceremonies at four locations ― George Knapp at Fourth and Cherokee, Ron Coaxum at the Riverfront Community Center, Bill Corbet in the 400 block of Delaware and Dan Wiley at the reviewing stand.

Parade participants are asked to assemble after 9 a.m. Prior to assembling, participants must go to the parade information booth at the west parking lot of Leavenworth Public Library for their numbers and specific location of line up.

Monetary awards will be awarded for the best floats.

Balloons will be distributed by area Scouts prior to start of parade. Live patriotic music will be performed by the Laura Moyers Band at Seventh and Delaware and retired Staff Sgt. Ric Jackson in front of the Riverfront Community Center before the start of the parade.

The Leavenworth Rotary Club will sponsor its annual veterans breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m. at the Riverfront Community Center. After the parade, there will be open houses at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 56 and American Legion Post 94. Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill will offer free lunch and dinner for veterans and active duty military Monday.