Some 600 souls will be a part of this year’s Veteran’s Day Parade, according to Donnie Jackson, board member of Operation Grateful Heart. The parade is scheduled to roll at 10 a.m. this Saturday morning after forming up on McCay Avenue near the Family Services Mall.
The route will follow Ala 75 from Spring Street southward, passing in front of the reviewing stand across the street from the courthouse, then turning left onto 1st Street for one block, then left again onto Main Street downtown for three blocks.
Five high school bands will power the parade to the strains of Stars and Stripes Forever, Under the Double Eagle, Washington Post and other great military marches. School bands include Oneonta, Susan Moore, J.B. Pennington, Cleveland, and the Southeastern Drum Corps.
Other parade entries include nine vehicles from the 151st Chemical Battalion of the Alabama National Guard and the 1166th National Guard Military Police, both of Oneonta; 100 marching soldiers, with color guard, also of the 1166th Military Police; as well as entries from Disabled American Veterans, the American Legion, Operation Grateful Heart, the Patriot Riders, Zamora Temple, Crossroads Cruisers, Blount County Memorial Museum, and others. Several area churches, two Confederate Civil War units, Boy Scouts, and others will also participate. Entries in the parade total 57, and it is expected to last about one hour.
Grand Marshal for the parade is Jesse Holt, one of Blount County’s last remaining World War II veterans. The emcee is Tim Chamblee. Lester Hallman is president of Operation Grateful Heart, parade sponsor, (along with Blount County Memorial Museum).
The parade will be preceded at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, by a dinner for veterans and their spouses at the Wonderful Worship Center. Tickets are free from Amy Rhudy at Blount County Memorial Museum.