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Registration open for annual veterans parade

For the third year, Kindred at Home Community Care is planning its Regional Veterans Parade, scheduled for Nov. 3 in downtown Farmington. The theme for this year’s parade is “May we never forget and forever honor our veterans.”

Organizer Ginger Pizarro said the parade will be a great opportunity for the community to visibly show their support for veterans by lining downtown Farmington, but for registered participants to actually assist veterans in need.

Businesses that take part in the parade will pay a $10 registration fee, which is waived for nonprofit organizations and veterans organizations. That fee will go toward the regional Disabled American Veterans Fund to support veterans.

“The fund helps veterans that are in need,” Pizarro said. “It doesn’t matter where they live—they can live in Potosi or Bonne Terre, as long as they’re within our region. That’s why we made this a regional parade this year.

“I’ve seen veterans asking for money for food because they have no food, I’ve seen them ask for money to get from Farmington to the VA hospital in St. Louis because they didn’t have gas money.”

Pizarro said the need being met by the parade wouldn’t exist, ideally, as veterans would be sufficiently taken care of and honored year-round.

“It breaks my heart that our veterans are having to go through this,” she said. “That’s why I originally wanted to start this parade three years ago. First of all, to bring back the fact that we need to honor the people who fought for our country and also to be able to help them.”

The Nov. 3 parade will begin at the Centene Center, will proceed down Columbia Street, will turn at Henry Street and return on Liberty Street. The parade will begin at 11 a.m. and spectators who arrive early enough will be given American flags to wave at the veterans in the parade.

The hope for the parade’s third year, Pizarro said, is to continue the trend of growth between the first and second year, which saw the parade doubling in size.

Floats or walking teams can register to be a part of the 3rd Annual Regional Veterans Parade by contacting Pizarro at 573-431-6599 (office), 573-454-5706 (cell) or by emailing ginger.pizarro@kindred.com.

For folks who don’t intend to walk or ride in the parade, Pizarro said it would be great to see downtown totally packed out in support of the region’s veterans, who have provided such fundamental support to every American by their service.

In this file photo, the 2017 Kindred at Home Veterans Parade grand marshals pass under an American flag on Columbia Street. Plans are being made for this year's parade.

In this file photo, the 2017 Kindred at Home Veterans Parade grand marshals pass under an American flag on Columbia Street. Plans are being made for this year’s parade.

Jacob Scott is a reporter with the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3616 or at jscott@dailyjournalonline.com.

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