The Annual East Valley Show of Thanks Will Go on in a Creative, COVID-Safe Format
In a year that has seen the cancellation of so many public events, the East Valley Veterans Parade Association (EVVP) is pleased to announce that its annual parade will take place — in a new format — on Wednesday, November 11. In a novel twist, the parade will take place in reverse. Dozens of annual parade entries will be stationed along the East Valley parade route, and the spectators will become the parade! Residents from throughout the Phoenix region will be encouraged to decorate their automobiles in patriotic themes to express their appreciation for lives of service as they drive through the parade route to view the parade entries.
“As it became obvious that the traditional parade format would not be feasible in the midst of the ongoing pandemic, we looked for a new way of holding our annual event to honor and thank our active and retired military as a community,” said Lisa Sandoval, EVVP president and parade director. “This way, the parade will go on and people will still have an opportunity to support past and present members of our military through an active and public display.”
This year’s parade theme will be “Celebrating Lives of Service,” in recognition of both military service on behalf of our country, as well as the many ways veterans continue to serve their communities through first responder and medical careers, as well as ongoing volunteer service — a vital part of our nation’s response to the COVID outbreak.
Details on the parade route, participating entries and timing will be announced soon. For the most current information, visit the East Valley Veterans Parade website at www.evvp.org and/or its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/EastValleyVeteransParade. East Valley residents can also watch for details in the Mesa Tribune.
About East Valley Veterans Parade:
When the annual Mesa Veterans Parade fell victim to necessary budget cuts in 2006, local residents Gerry Walker and Frank “Gunny” Alger spoke out on behalf of the 40-year-old Mesa tradition, with Gerry stating, “There will be a Veterans Day parade if it is only me marching down the street with Frank watching.”
The Marine Corps League (Saguaro Chapter) in Mesa took the lead and the Mesa Veterans Parade Association was formed. In 2013, the all-volunteer organization changed its name to the East Valley Veterans Parade Association to reflect the participation of parade entrants and sponsors from most East Valley communities. Donations to this 501c3 nonprofit organization are tax-deductible.