The committee that organizes the Leavenworth County Veterans Day Parade will be having a parade this year. But the parade may be smaller than usual because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Becky Johnson, secretary Leavenworth County Veterans Day Parade Committee, said organizers received final approval for the event earlier this week.
As in past years, the parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 11 in downtown Leavenworth. Organizers are encouraging people who attend the parade to observe social distancing when possible and wear masks when in close proximity to others.
This will be the 101st year of the parade. The theme this year is "Second Century of Honoring Our Veterans."
The tradition of the Leavenworth County Veterans Day Parade was launched Nov. 11, 1919, which was the first anniversary of the armistice that ended the fighting of World War I. This first observance took place before the holiday was officially called Veterans Day, according to a website for the Leavenworth County Veterans Day Parade.
The Leavenworth County Veterans Day Parade Committee already has announced the grand marshals for this year’s parade – retired Army Maj. John Reichley and retired Navy Master Chief Gary Raby.
Reichley, a Vietnam War veteran, is a columnist for the Leavenworth Times.
Retired Army Master Sgt. David Royer has been named an honorary grand marshal for this year’s parade. Royer is credited with stopping an active shooter on the Centennial Bridge earlier this year in Leavenworth.
Johnson acknowledges that people who have appeared in the parade in the past may be reluctant to attend this year because of concerns about COVID-19.
"We know there are going to be some groups that will not participate," she said.
She said there will be soldiers from Fort Leavenworth in the parade. But they will be in smaller numbers this year.
"They don’t want 250 soldiers marching side-by-side," she said.
The parade will follow its usual route in the downtown area. Masters of ceremonies will be set up at Fourth and Cherokee streets, the Riverfront Community Center, the 400 block of Delaware Street, the reviewing stand at Seventh and Delaware streets, and Haymarket Square.
At 11 a.m., the parade will pause for the playing of taps by buglers stationed throughout the route.
Parade participants will check in at an information booth at the Leavenworth Public Library, 417 Spruce St. Participants can begin assembling after 9 a.m.
For more information about the Leavenworth County Veterans Day Parade, including a map of the parade route, visit www.lvvetsparade.com