The Delaware Veterans Parade is set to return this weekend with a full day of celebration of Delaware’s hometown heroes on Sunday, Nov. 6.
At 3 p.m. on Sunday, rain or shine, the parade will step off from the Delaware County Fairgrounds and travel down Pennsylvania Avenue before heading downtown on Sandusky Street and ending near Ohio Wesleyan University at Wilmer Street.
Five specific veterans will be honored in the parade, including World War II veterans in Larry McCauley and Ross Carlson Sr. Jim Lewis, John Crouse, and Nathan Norris round out this year’s list of honorees.
There is still time for veterans to register to be included in the festivities, and parade organizer Margo Litke said she is still looking for more volunteers to assist with making sure the day runs smoothly. To register for the parade or to sign up as a volunteer, email Litke at [email protected] or access the registration form at www.delawareohveteransparade.com. Registration will remain open until 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.
For those who wish to register in person, registration forms can be found at the Delaware County Library Main Branch, located at 84 E. Winter St., or at the Delaware Veterans Service Office, located at 91 N. Sandusky St. in Delaware.
Prior to the parade, a veteran’s social will be held from 12:30-2:30 p.m. in the Junior Fair Building at the fairgrounds. The social will include food and is open to anyone who wishes to thank a veteran for their service.
In addition to the veteran honorees, members of the Ohio Warriors Sled Hockey program for disabled veterans will also be in attendance. Six different bands are also set to perform throughout the parade route.
For any Star Wars fans in attendance on Sunday, Litke said there will also be some “visitors from the Galactic Empire” in the form of Darth Vader, two TIE pilots and a mudtrooper.
“We’re growing every year. … We get more and more (involvement), and our outreach is growing,” Litke told The Gazette. “This is something we really want to put on the map, but it just takes time to build it.”
Now in her seventh year of organizing the parade, Litke said seeing the payoff on parade day makes all the considerable time invested into making the event happen worth the effort.
“It’s the fun and anticipation of the event and seeing (the veterans’) faces, they get so excited. They’re like little kids,” Litke said. “And they appreciate it. They’re just so humbled that all those people come out to thank them for their service.”
She added, “It’s the reward of seeing the expressions on their faces, especially the older ones because we don’t know how many years we have with them. It’s important to get them in as many parades as we can.”