Virginia’s Veterans Parade celebrates 10th year

The Virginia’s Veterans Parade is celebrating 10 years of recognizing those who have served with a public procession featuring floats, music, and other entertainment. The event will be held in downtown Roanoke on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 11:00 a.m., the weekend before Veterans Day. In addition to spectators being invited to attend in person, the parade will also be broadcasted live on WSLS. The free event is an opportunity for the community to show their appreciation for service members from all branches of the military.

“It’s a particularly special year,” said Jeff Perkins, president of the Roanoke Valley Veterans Council, Inc. “We started this parade 10 years ago and the support from our community has been very gratifying. Each year we come together to recognize our veterans of all the armed services and all conflicts, as well as honor those who currently serve this great nation. It’s exciting to have the parade route lined with supporters and to know that people are watching at home as well.”

For the first time in the parade’s history, a pair of stealth tactical fighter aircraft will perform a flyover to kick off the event. Two F-22 Raptors from Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, VA will appear over Campbell Avenue during the singing of the national anthem. Also new to this year’s lineup is the “Ride for Freedom” Volvo VNL670, a one-of-a-kind truck covered in a custom collage that honors U.S. military personnel taken as prisoners of war or missing in action (POW/MIA). The vehicle was donated by Volvo and will be sent to the Virginia Museum of Transportation for permanent display following the parade. As with previous years, this year’s event will include multiple marching bands, including a new appearance by the musicians from Virginia Military Institute (VMI).

“As a VMI graduate, I’m excited to welcome the Regimental Band, Pipe Band, and the Corps of Cadets to this year’s parade,” said Perkins. “It’s the first time we’ve been able to align our schedules and we appreciate their involvement. It’s going to be a great day!”

Ahead of the parade, starting at 9:30 a.m., the public is invited to a Veteran Meet and Greet at the Market Building in downtown Roanoke. The Virginia’s Veterans Parade route will begin at the intersection of Jefferson Street and Elm Avenue and continue along Jefferson Street towards downtown. The procession will then turn right on Campbell Avenue, ending at Williamson Road (US Route 221).

For more information on the parade route, available parking, or how to become a participant, visit www.VirginiasVeteransParade.org.