Delaware’s annual celebration of veterans will be held Sunday, Nov. 7, with the 2021 Delaware Veterans Parade. Under the theme of “Let us never forget” and “welcome home” for the veterans of Afghanistan, the parade will step off from the Delaware County Fairgrounds at 3 p.m. and travel down Pennsylvania Avenue to North Sandusky Street and then through downtown before ending near Wilmer Street.
Approximately 250 people are already signed up to participate in the parade. Margo Litke, the parade organizer, said the parade generally averages more than 500 participants. Litke said she would “love hundreds of entries as it would add so much to the parade.”
This year’s parade honorees have not yet been finalized, Litke told The Gazette. In addition to celebrating every veteran, the parade will honor veterans of the Korean War, Persian Gulf War, and those returning from Afghanistan.
All veterans, whether active, reserve, or retired, are invited to join in on the festivities. Groups that support veterans are also welcome to join in the parade. Attendees are required to register, preferably in advance, by Saturday, Oct. 30. A limited number of registrations will be accepted the day of the parade, up until 1:30 p.m. Applications are available at the Veterans Service Commission office, the main branch of the Delaware County District Library, or by emailing email@example.com.
In addition to more veterans, Litke said she is still looking for bands or street entertainers to join in the parade.
With the pandemic not allowing last year’s Veterans Parade to take place, Litke said there is even more excitement building around this year’s parade as a result.
“Yes, very much so,” she said of the additional buzz. “Everyone is looking for a sense of normalcy after missing the parade last year. We have some new groups joining us this year as well.”
For Litke, this will be her sixth year organizing the parade. Asked what she enjoys the most, Litke said she loves organizing events in general. “There are so many moving parts to organizing the parade. It is a challenge and so rewarding to see it all come together. The hours of work makes it worthwhile,” she said.
Litke added, “I know each year our parades get bigger and better, it just takes time to build it. My goal is to have the streets lined, five deep to show appreciation for these brave men and women who fought for all of us. Another thing that keeps me coming back are the veterans. They are so appreciative and excited the day of the parade, their faces just light up. But also, the generosity of the local sponsors, volunteers, and businesses that support us to thank the veterans. It is my hope that all of Delaware County will come out and cheer on our veterans. It will be held rain or shine and I promise the veterans will be there regardless of the weather.”
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.