BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Veterans Day celebrations will make their way through Beckley.
The annual Veterans Parade hosted by The American Legion Post 32 and the Beckley-Raleigh County Veterans Parade Committee will start at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 11, 2023.
The line-up for the Veterans Parade will be between 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. at Park Middle School for cars and floats, and from 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Beckley Intermodal Gateway Plaza for bands, walking units, and military vehicles.
The Parade Grand Marshal will be Frank Cook. There will be a Memory Walk and Honor Walk section to honor Veterans. Loved ones are invited to walk with a sign, photo, or memento in the parade, and will line up with other walking units at the Beckley Intermodal Gateway.
The theme for the 2023 Veterans Parade is “Veterans, always there for America”. Signs should be on all sides of the float to identify what group is on the float. There will be cash and trophy awards for the first and second place best overall entries, as well as the top high school and middle school bands, and the best dance team. The awards will be given after the parade at the Beckley Intermodal Gateway Plaza.
However the parade will not be the only event in Beckley to honor Veterans. Veterans groups may be set up in booths at the Beckley Intermodal Gateway Plaza or at Word Park 10am-1pm. Various school marching bands will perform some of their pregame or halftime show music between 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. at the Beckley Intermodal Gateway Plaza.
Veterans are welcome to get a free box lunch at the WVU Tech Administration, Extension and Culinary Building on Neville Street after the parade from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., however there will be limited supplies. Winners of the Register-Herald Student Essay Contest will receive their awards during the luncheon.
The Raleigh County Veterans Museum’s Healing Field ceremony will be at 2:00 p.m. on Harper Road.
If you are planning to hand out candy from your float or car, it is requested that the candy not be thrown or dropped in the road. Children often run into the road to pick up candy and risk being hurt. If you would like to hand out candy then someone can walk beside the float or car to hand it out, and if you are at the parade with your kids keep them on the sidewalks and our of the roads. Candy being dropped on the road has become a safety concern and issue for those driving in the parade and the parade committee.
Events on Veterans Day will also affect traffic in the Beckley area. Plan for delays from 10:30 a.m. to around 1:00 p.m. in the uptown area. The parade route starts at Park Middle School, goes down Park Avenue, turns right onto 3rd Avenue, continues down 3rd Avenue and turns right onto Neville Street where it will continue through the uptown area before turning left onto North Fayette Street between the Courthouse and United Bank, left onto Prince Street, and will end at Leslie C. Gates Boulevard.