A Veteran salutes at the NYC Veterans Day Parade. Credit: Business Insider
Veterans Day on November 11 and people across the nation will be celebrating the 18.2 million Americans who have served and sacrificed in the United States military. One of the primary ways we celebrate is through parades – which happen in pretty much every major city in all 50 states.
If you want to honor a Veteran on Veterans Day, you can start by simply thanking them for their service. But you can also attend events like a Veterans Day parade to show your support. Here are the top 10 Veterans Day parades across America:
Veterans Day Parades
10. Albany, Oregon
When: Veterans Day from 11:00 to 13:00. You can also attend the memorial service at 8:30 at Timber Linn Memorial Park.
Where: Downtown Albany.
Albany markets its Veterans Day Parade as “The Largest Veterans Day Parade west of the Mississippi.” With thousands of spectators, the parade includes motorcycles, bands, youth groups, and, of course, Veterans.
9. Tucson, Arizona
When: Veterans Day at 11:00.
Where: American Legion Morgan McDermott Post 7.
This year marks 100 years of the Tucson Veterans Day Parade. They have a different theme every year, and this year’s is fittingly “100 Years of Honoring Veterans.” This city loves celebrating their Veterans, and their parade is sure to be unforgettable.
8. Denver, Colorado
When: Saturday, November 9 from 10:00 to 15:00.
Where: Civic Center Park.
This is a true community event. After the actual parade, Denver residents will gather in Civic Center Park for a festival that features live music, food trucks, and vendors. If you’re in the Denver area, stop by to join in on the celebration in the name of our Veterans.
7. Houston, Texas
When: Veterans Day at 11:30.
Where: Beginning at Dallas and Bagby.
The friendly city of Houston, TX has the second largest Veteran population in the country, with over 250,000 Veterans who live there. Their parade — called the American Heroes Parade — is preceded by a ceremony at 10, and a moment of silence at 11 (to honor the 101st anniversary of the end of WWII).
6. Jacksonville, Florida
When: Veterans Day at 11.
Where: Times-Union Center For the Performing Arts
Jacksonville, FL has a big military population, and they show their appreciation in this parade. With 4,000 participants, the parade includes grand marshals, military officials, active and retired units, military and Veteran groups, marching bands, JROTC units, and more.
5. Petaluma, California
When: Veterans Day from 13:00 to 15:00.
Where: Walnut Park, Historic Downtown Petaluma.
Petaluma’s parade — called the Northbay Veterans Day Parade — is the biggest Veterans Day celebration in Northern California. It features historic airplanes that will fly over the parade route, and Veterans who will either march or ride tanks, corvettes, and more.
4. Auburn, Washington
When: Saturday, November 9 from 11:00 to 14:00.
Where: Main Street, Downtown Auburn.
The city of Auburn, Washington boasts the biggest Veterans Day parade in Washington state. It includes over 200 military units, 25-plus high school marching bands, military vehicles, honor guards, and more, for a grand total of 6,000 participants.
3. Branson, Missouri
When: Veterans Day at 11.
Where: North Commercial Street and Atlantic, Downtown Branson.
Branson’s parade isn’t the only thing they do for Veterans; they actually celebrate for the entire week leading up to Veterans Day. The parade itself expects to see a turnout of 30,000 people. Here’s their complete list of events, including a trout tournament, clay shooting, WWII reunion, military film festival, and much more.
2. Birmingham, Alabama
When: Veterans Day at 13:30.
Where: Railroad Park.
Birmingham goes all out for Veterans Day — and that’s why their parade is named the National Veterans Day Parade. This city is the proud home of Raymond Weeks, one of the men who founded Veterans Day. As a result, they also host a memorial service, award dinner, and luncheon. With a turnout of around 80,000 people each year, you won’t want to miss this parade!
1. New York City, New York
When: Veterans Day from 11:15 to 15:30.
Where: Fifth Avenue, from 26th to 45th St.
At the top of our list of Veterans Day parades is the one in New York City, New York. In fact, this gathering is known as “America’s Parade.” NYC recognizes not only Veterans, but first responders like firefighters and EMTs as well.
The parade itself is massive. With over 25,000 participants and up to half a million spectators every year, it’s the largest Veterans Day parade in the nation. The 1.2 mile parade route passes by the Empire State Building, the streets lined with military flags and filled with celebration. It’s a truly special experience, and while there’s no parade that can pay back our Veterans for what they’ve done for us, this one comes pretty close.
Read about the history of Veterans Day and some other ways you can celebrate it here.