Each year there are several veteran events in Delaware County. There are also other events that veterans and active duty military participate in that are not specific veteran events. The Delaware County Air Force Junior ROTC (AFJROTC) also participates in many of the events. This information should allow you to mark your calendar for most events for the year. As the events and activities get closer, more specific information will be provided. These events are listed in order of when they take place.
March 29 is the Vietnam War Veterans Day. A ceremony takes place at noon at the Historic Courthouse. This is a federal holiday on the same level as six other military-centric national observances: Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, Navy Day and Veterans Day. The ceremony is presented by Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1095 (VVA1095).
Memorial Day this year is on Monday, May 30. There are several ceremonies that take place in Delaware County. Members from the Delaware County Veterans Service Office (VSO) participate in some of these events.
The village of Ashley has a parade in town then a ceremony at Union Cemetery. The VSO is an active participant in both activities.
The city of Powell also has a parade at 10 a.m. followed by a ceremony in the Village Green Park. The VSO and AFJROTC participate in the parade and ceremony.
There is a parade in the village of Radnor followed by a ceremony at the Radnor Cemetery.
The city of Sunbury has several events on Memorial Day: a parade, ceremony, flea market and other activities.
In the city of Delaware, there is a ceremony in Oak Grove Cemetery at 10 a.m.. At the start around 9:45 a.m., there is a procession from the front entrance to the Veterans West area. The event is organized by VVA1095 with participants including the AFJROTC and Stockhands Horses for Healing.
Flag Day is on June 14. On the Saturday closest to Flag Day, VVA1095 has a flag disposal ceremony. The ceremony takes place at Delaware’s Veterans Plaza, which is located next to the Delaware YMCA and National Guard. The ceremony features proper flag protocol, a flag folding presentation, rifle volley and taps. After the ceremony, flags that need disposed are properly burned in barrels at that location. This year’s ceremony takes place June 11 starting at 10 a.m.
Independence Day is always on July 4. As everyone should know, this is our national holiday to celebrate the freedom of our country. There are many parades and activities in Delaware County. Individual veterans, veteran organizations, and the AFJROTC participate in many parades and activities. Not sure if I know of all events, but will give it a shot based on past events.
Delaware city has a parade at 3 p.m. The parade starts at the Delaware County Fairgrounds and ends at Selby Stadium. There is always the annual Central Ohio Symphony concert that starts at 7:30 p.m. The concert is located behind Gray Chapel on the main campus of Ohio Wesleyan University. There is no charge for the public to attend. You may bring your own lawn chair; there are chair seats available for a fee. Fireworks are usually scheduled to begin around 10 p.m. Fireworks are set off near Selby Stadium and can be seen from several locations in Delaware.
Orange Township has a parade at 10:30 a.m. The parade starts at Olentangy Orange High School and travels down Walker Wood Boulevard between East Orange Road and Laurel Winds Boulevard. This year’s parade will be the 16th annual one. There are no fireworks at this location.
The village of Ostrander’s parade starts at 10 a.m. In the past, there have been activities and chicken barbeque dinners at the old Buckeye Valley West school grounds. Hopefully, all their activities will be back this year. Fireworks begin at dusk.
Sunbury has several events that start at 7 a.m. They usually have an Arts & Crafts Fair in the Village Square. There is generally Kids Zone on the Square from late morning to early afternoon. The parade starts at 10 a.m. at the old Big Walnut High School, goes around the town and ends back at the high school. There are usually activities at the high school in the evening. Fireworks begin at dusk.
The All Horse Parade in Delaware includes veterans to honor them. The VVA1095 is the official Color Guard of the parade. AFJROTC participates in leading the parade. Stockhands Horses for Healing provides horses, carriages, carts and wagons for the VVA1095’s use. Stockhands also leads the rider-less horse to honor veterans that have passed. This year’s parade is Sept. 11, which is the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 attack.
There are veteran displays and activities during the Delaware County Fair. Fair dates this year are Sept. 17-24. The Coliseum houses military displays with lots of memorabilia and equipment, veteran service organizations, Delaware County Veterans Service Office, veteran support organizations and active duty military units.
On Little Brown Jug Day, there is a veteran and military convoy that goes around the track in the middle of the day. Military vehicles are used. Veterans are invited to participate.
The fair’s Veterans Day is held on the Friday of that week, which is Sept. 23 this year. Veterans are admitted free to the fair. A veterans dinner, Operation: Forever Grateful, takes place on that day. The dinner is sponsored by the VSO and is free of charge to veterans and a guest, and active duty military and a guest. The dinner is a catered event. The VVA1095 organizes and presents the dinner. Reservation forms will be available in the spring at various locations. Tickets for the dinner will be provided and include free admission to the fair.
Veterans Day is Nov. 11. There are three events that I am aware of on that date. There is a veterans breakfast at the fairgrounds sponsored by the VSO. Breakfast starts at 8:30 a.m. in the Junior Fair/Ag Society building. The Delaware County Veterans Association (DCVA) presents ceremony. Veteran of the Year and Friend of Veterans of the Year awards are presented at this event.
The Delaware County Veterans Day Ceremony is held at the Historic Courthouse at 11 a.m. The VSO and VVA1095 organize the ceremony. AFJROTC participates along with various veterans. The VVA1095 Honor Guard provides rifle volley and taps. Sandusky Street in front of the Historic Courthouse is blocked off from 10 a.m. to noon. This allows the public to safely attend with a good amount of space. Law enforcement is there to provide safety.
Powell also provides a Veterans Day ceremony.
Pearl Harbor Day Observance ceremony in Delaware is presented by the DCVA. The ceremony is on a Sunday near Pearl Harbor Day. Ceremony takes place on the East Winter Street Bridge. Event ends with a wreath being tossed off the bride into the river to honor those that lost their lives in the attack. The ceremony is Dec, 4 at 12:45 p.m., which coincides with the time the attack took place.
There are also veteran appreciation days at the Columbus Zoo various times throughout the year.
Harold B. Wolford is president of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1095. He served in the United States Army from 1970 to 1973.