If ever there was a parade and community event Oakdale Mayor Cher Bairos would love to see the community support, the Fifth Annual Veterans Day Parade being hosted on Friday, Nov. 11 would be at the top of the list.
Bairos, along with community members Lisa Ballard, Jason Dillon and Infinite Athletics gladly put the effort into the parade, as well as the Veterans Day event which follows.
“They need to be recognized and supported and thank them for their service,” Ballard said on why it’s important to do each year.
Prior to adding the parade in 2018, Oakdale VFW Post 2922 would host a Veterans Day Ceremony each year. When the trio decided to add the parade, they gladly took on the Veterans Ceremony planning as well.
Line up for the parade starts at 9 a.m. at the FES Hall on North Lee Avenue. The parade starts at 10 a.m. traveling on North Lee and turning down Pontiac, continuing to Fish Park. The Oakdale Saddle Club will lead the parade. The parade, as well as the ceremony after, is free to everyone in the community with veterans as the special guests.
“We have some veterans speaking,” Bairos said.
A number of representatives from Veterans groups will speak at the ceremony which will begin promptly at 11 a.m.
Lunch will follow.
“People are very happy that we do it,” Bairos stated. “It’s important to support our veterans.”
Bairos further shared her delight at all the community involvement of all ages in the parade, noting youth groups, Oakdale FFA and several sports groups who come each year to show their respect and honor the veterans. As the daughter of a veteran, she encourages more student sports teams and groups to attend and or participate.
“It would be nice to have any of the high school sports team, for one hour of their time to support the veterans,” Bairos shared.
Volunteers are also important to make the event happen. The committee has requested that anyone interested in volunteering send an e-mail to email@example.com. The group shared they’d also appreciate contact information on area veterans who may not know of the event and would like to invite them either through e-mail or a phone call. Contact info can be sent to the same e-mail address.
“We just want to make sure they know there’s a ceremony and they come out to the ceremony,” Ballard concluded.