By City of Auburn
Since 1965, the City of Auburn has honored our veterans. Once again, Auburn’s Veterans Parade & Observance has been recognized by the National Veterans Day Committee and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as one of the few regional sites for the celebration of Veterans Day in the United States.
The 2021 parade marks the 56th anniversary of this signature event in Auburn. Over the years, Auburn’s Veterans Parade has become one of the largest parades of its’ kind in the United States. The parade typically boasts almost 6,000 participants and over 200 units including military vehicles and equipment, military and veteran units, over 25 marching bands, ROTC Units, antique military vehicles and classic cars, community groups and more.
In a typical year, the day would start bright and early with an American Legion-sponsored community breakfast, followed by a Remembrance Ceremony and Lighting of the Flame. A Static Display and Exhibit Showcase is available from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on city streets close to the parade route. The display has included military vehicles and equipment, the Washington National Guard’s Rock Wall and a variety of booths. A lunch is held directly after the parade and is a joint effort between the City of Auburn and the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, where they recognize their Outstanding Service to Veterans Award Winners. A VFW Open House and the state’s largest marching band competition conclude the day.
The City of Auburn invites a variety of dignitaries to participate in the parade. These dignitaries are the Commanding Officers for each branch of the local military, the State Commander for the congressionally chartered Veteran Service Organizations and various elected officials. The Event Staff works with local car dealerships to secure parade vehicles for the 50+ participating dignitaries, as they are acknowledged by the thousands of spectators as they make their way down the parade route.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 event was held as a five-day ‘Salute to Veterans Celebration’, which included both virtual and in-person events featuring a Veterans Vehicle Procession, Sweet Treats for Vets event, a virtual Veterans Tribute Program and more.
The City of Auburn is looking forward to the 56th annual Veterans Parade, to be held on Saturday, Nov. 6. Sadly, as of press time, some of the typically scheduled events have already been cancelled, including the Static Display & Exhibit Showcase, the Remembrance Ceremony and the Marching Band Competition. At this time however, the City of Auburn has no plans to cancel this year’s parade.
With that said, event organizers are in the midst of planning a safe and memorable event for 2021. Auburn is committed to celebrating our veterans, active military, veterans service organizations and so many others. Complete event details at www.auburnwa.gov/vets and spectators are encouraged to check back frequently to see how the event will unfold come Nov. 6.
The Veterans Parade will follow all current mandates from King County Public Health that may be in place on Nov. 6, 2021. In response to the King County Public Health order (effective Sept. 7, 2021), we will require all spectators age five and older to wear a mask while attending the parade, regardless of vaccination status. Parade participants are required to wear a mask in the parade line-up area. Parade participants may remove their masks inside a vehicle with only their direct household members. All employees are also required to wear a mask. The only exception are for people with medical conditions and when guests are eating and drinking.