Despite pandemic, parade considered a success
Even though the Leavenworth County Veterans Day Parade was scaled down this year, organizers still consider it a success.
“I really feel that everything considered, it was a very successful parade,” said Becky Johnson, secretary of the Leavenworth County Veterans Day Parade Committee.
Johnson said other committee members also were pleased with the parade, which took place Wednesday in downtown Leavenworth.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the parade had fewer entries and was about an hour shorter than in previous years.
“It’s not the parade that maybe we are used to in Leavenworth, but it was still a good turnout,” Johnson said.
Organizers of the annual parade boast that it is the largest Veterans Day parade west of the Mississippi River.
While Johnson was pleased with the turnout Wednesday, the number of people who came to the downtown area to watch the parade was down this year. She blamed this on the pandemic.
Johnson said the parade generally draws between 10,000 and 15,000 spectators. She did not have an estimate for this year’s crowd but said, “It was way down.”
She said the parade was live-streamed on the city of Leavenworth’s Facebook page as well as the Facebook page for the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Leavenworth.
Johnson believes a majority of the downtown spectators wore masks, which had been encouraged by the parade’s organizers. Johnson said the people who turned out Wednesday seemed pleased with the parade.
This was the 101st year of the parade. This year's theme was “Second Century of Honoring Our Veterans.”
“We will be putting on another parade next year,” Johnson said.
She hopes the parade will be back to its normal size in 2021.