The 98th annual Leavenworth County Veterans Day Parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in downtown Leavenworth.

The 98th annual Leavenworth County Veterans Day Parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in downtown Leavenworth.

“Hopefully, the weather holds up,” said Diana Smith, secretary for the Leavenworth County Veterans Day Committee.

The National Weather Service forecast for Saturday calls for areas of drizzle with a chance of rain in the afternoon in Leavenworth with a high near 49 degrees.

Because Veterans Day falls on a Saturday this year, Smith thinks the turnout for the parade may be larger than usual.

Organizers of the event tout it as one the oldest regional Veterans Day observances in the country and the largest Veterans Day parade west of the Mississippi River.

According to Smith, there are 170 committed entries for the parade.

The parade will follow the same route as in previous years. It will start at Fourth and Cherokee streets. The parade will travel east on Cherokee and then north on Esplanade Street. The parade will turn west on Delaware Street and then south on Seventh Street. The parade then will travel east on Cherokee Street, ending at Fifth and Cherokee streets.

Masters of ceremonies will be staged at several locations along the route to provide information about the entries during the parade.

“Honoring All Who Served” is the theme for this year’s parade. The grand marshal is retired Army Col. Lynn Rolf Jr.

Rolf is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, and veteran of the Vietnam War.

This year, the Leavenworth Junior ROTC program also has been selected as an honorary grand marshal for the parade. This year marks the 100th anniversary of official establishment of a JROTC program at the high school.

The Leavenworth County Veterans Day Parade will feature school marching bands, local public officials, vehicles from area police and fire departments, equestrian groups, antique cars, motorcycle clubs, Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts, veterans organizations and soldiers from Fort Leavenworth.

Kansas Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer also is scheduled to appear in the parade.

The parade will pause at 11 a.m. for the playing of taps. Buglers will perform taps at several locations along the parade route. And recordings of taps will be played at other locations.

A flyover is planned at 11:05 a.m. A KC-135 tanker from McConnell Air Force Base, Wichita, will fly over downtown Leavenworth, Smith said.

Also during parade, Maj. Gen. James Mingus, director of Mission Command Center of Excellence at Fort Leavenworth, will administer an oath of enlistment to local military recruits, according to Smith.

Mingus also will present the Commander’s Award for Public Service to two veterans who now work for local law enforcement agencies, according to Jeff Wingo, public affairs officer for the Fort Leavenworth garrison.

The oath and presentation of awards will take place in front of the reviewing stand, which will be located at Seventh and Delaware streets.

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