The Sulphur Springs and Hopkins County community will come together Saturday, Nov. 10, to honor a group of individuals who have sacrificed, putting everything on the line, for their country — veterans. Because Veterans Day falls on Sunday this year, the parade is being held on Saturday.
Community Seeds and the city of Sulphur Springs are partnering to host a Veterans Day Parade that will honor all five branches of the military. An invitation is extended to all residents to line the streets along the parade route to show respect and appreciation for those willing to serve and protect their country.
Event organizers ask that the only flags displayed are the United States flag and flags for each military branch and that no political or other ideological signage be displayed during the parade in order to properly pay tribute to the veterans.
“It’s important to honor veterans for what they do for country, those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. We want them to see the people of Hopkins County out strongly supporting the military and all they do 100 percent,” said Jason Barrett with Community Seeds.
The parade will begin at 9 a.m. Nov. 10, at Buford Park, departing down Connally Street, proceeding to Celebration Plaza and by Hopkins County Veterans Memorial before continuing onto Church Street, turning left onto Houston Street and concluding at the park.
Selected as grand marshal for the Hopkins County Veterans Parade is Walt Dingman, who at age 99 is recognized as the oldest veteran in Hopkins County, a parade flyer reads.
Organizers have been planning this celebration of area service personnel since mid-August.
As of Wednesday afternoon, representatives from 60 local and regional organizations were confirmed as registered to participate in the parade, entering floats, vehicles or other conveyances to show their support of veterans and military personnel from all five branches of service. Among them are politicians, vehicle clubs including a monster truck club. Prominently featured, however, will be veterans.
“A lot of different people will be involved this year. This is the second one, and it’ll have triple the output. We’re taking no more organizations at this time. We are maxed. We’ll have boots on the ground and our veterans. Any veteran is welcome to participate — even if it is 1,000 more veterans. That’s who this is for, what it’s all about. All veterans have to do is show up at 7:30 that morning at the park with the organizations. Volunteers will be helping with the parade line-up around the road,” Barrett said.
The parade is expected to last about 90 minutes.
“We need good weather and people to show up. For this to be successful, we’ve got to have people out to watch the parade, to show support and honor all five branches of the military,” Barrett said.
After the parade, a special celebration will be held to honor the United States Marine Corps, recognizing Nov. 10 as the 243rd anniversary of the Marines’ establishment. All Marines are invited to stop by Buford Park after the parade to partake of a lunch hosted in their honor. This lunch will be exclusively for Marines, however, Barrett said.