Veterans Day Parade is returning to Oak Harbor

Thanks to the efforts of two women, Oak Harbor will once again have a Veterans Day Parade.

The energetic organizers are looking for additional people or groups willing to take part in the tradition. The parade will travel the “Walk of Honor” on Pioneer Way downtown at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11.

Terry Lacey spearheaded an effort that brought the parade to the streets of Oak Harbor in 2012, but the parade was canceled last year for lack of interest.

Shelly Blackburn, the wife of a former Navy man and an American Legion member, said she thought that it was a shame the parade was canceled and told her friend, Melissa Riker that she would like to find a way to bring it back. Their mission grew from there.

Riker is an experienced events coordinator.

“We live in a Navy town and it’s super important to honor the veterans who live in this town,” Blackburn said.

The two women secured donations from Walmart, Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce and the American Legion.

The woman obtained a list of six veterans who live at Careage of Whidbey. In the parade, Blackburn said, they will each be riding in a car bearing their names.

The eldest of the veterans, 87-year-old Harold Picard, is the grand marshal. He was a parachute rigger in the Navy.

“We don’t want these people to pass without knowing they are appreciated and honored in Oak Harbor,” Blackburn said.

The organizers are accepting applications for parade participants and welcome veterans’ groups or anyone interested in marching in honor of local heroes.

• Applications and information are available by emailing veteransparade2017@gmail.com. Completed applications may be dropped off at the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce.

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