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105th Welch Veterans Day Parades and other parades scheduled for Nov. 11
Bluefield Daily Telegraph - 11/4/2023
Nov. 4—WELCH — A parade that will be 105 years old this Veterans Day and other festivities are being planned to honor veterans in both southern West Virginia and Southwest Virginia.
The American Legion Post 8 in Welch under the leadership of Commander David Williams announced this week that the Veterans Day Committee have been preparing for the 105th Veterans Day Parade.
The theme for this year's parade is "Freedom Is Not Free," according to Williams. The parade will be presented on Saturday, Nov. 11 and start at 10 a.m.
Now more than a century old, the McDowell County parade is the longest consecutive running Veterans Day Parade in the United States.
This year's guest speaker and Parade Marshall for the 2023 Veterans Day Parade will be Lt. Col. Matthew Wimmer, (Joint Operational Planner). He is a hometown citizen who grew up in Coalwood, a community in McDowell County, organizers said.
Wimmer is assigned as Military Faculty at the Joint Forces Staff College, Naval Support Activity in Hampton Roads, Va. He is responsible for delivering the Joint Professional Military Education II curriculum to over 70 students per year. He also serves as the sole USSF faculty member at the College responsible for representing service equities and developing Space-related curriculum requirements.
Lt. Col. Wimmer was deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2008-2009. He deployed multiple times supporting of DSCA response events including COVID-19 and natural disasters. He has also conducted multiple shorter-duration deployments and exercises around the world including multiple Juniper Cobra series and NATO Trident Juncture.
Parade Chairman Jim Spence has been encouraging all church, civic, and school organizations to participate in the upcoming parade. Area bands from the county and surrounding counties will also be participating in the parade, according to the post's announcement.
All participants should be lined up within their division no later than 9:30 a.m. on Nov. 11. Participants with questions about where their organization is posted for the parade can ask one of the American Legion veterans located in front of Welch City Hall for information.
A car show will be located at the Welch DMV parking lot on McDowell Street. Car enthusiasts are being asked to take their vehicles to the lot for judging.
The American Legion Post 8 also announced that David Williams became the 103rd Commander of McDowell American Post 8 in July. Commander Williams will serve as Post 8 Commander for the 2023-2024 year.
Besides the long-running Welch Veterans Day Parade, a new one, the Inaugural Veterans Day Parade in the Town of Bluefield,Va. will kick off on Nov. 11. The new parade will start at 10 a.m.
"We are excited to add this event to our annual VFW ceremony that will take place inside the First united Methodist Church in downtown Bluefield at 11am. The parade will lead everyone to the ceremony," said Lori Stacy, Town Clerk/Communications Director.
Larry Kinzer, the owner of The Roasted Bean in downtown Bluefield, Va. will be the Grand Marshall and the new town manager, Army Colonel Andrew Hanson, will speak at the VFW ceremony following the parade, Stacy said,
In Mercer County, the City of Princeton has announced that the Princeton Veterans Day Parade will take place Nov. 11 and start at 11 a.m. The parade will start on the lower end of Mercer Street and will conclude at the Mercer County Courthouse.
City officials are inviting local veterans, their families and community members to participate.
The parade is a good opportunity for the area to show its appreciation for those who have served their country, city officials said.
For more information or to register to participate in the parade, call the Princeton Vet Center at 304-425-8098.
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