Everyone is invited to honor and recognize those who have protected our country at the 2018 Reno Veterans Day parade on Saturday, Nov. 11 in downtown Reno.
The parade takes place from about 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and marches north on Virginia Street from the Virginia Street Bridge at First Street to Fifth Street. The event is free and open to the public.
This year, the Reno Veterans Day parade will celebrate 20 years of honoring people who served in the United States Armed Forces.
“It was started by a group of citizens who wanted to celebrate Veterans Day and recognize all the veterans’ groups,” said Alexis Hill the arts, culture and special events manager for the City of Reno. “It’s very homegrown and something that the city is really proud to support.”
An opening ceremony kicks off the parade at 11:11 a.m. with a fly by and concludes with a wreath tossing at 11:20 a.m.
Before the opening ceremony, a chorus and band playing veterans’ songs will ride up and down Virginia Street on a flat-bed truck to entertain the crowd.
“This is a new element that our committee has put together,” Hill said.
Spectators, especially family and friends of participants, are encouraged to gather to show their support along the parade route. Hill recommend arriving about 30 minutes in advance.
“The crowd is typically three or four people deep on the sidewalk,” she said.
The theme for the 2018 Reno Veterans Day parade is “The Great War,” and November 11, 2018 marks the 100-year anniversary of the end of World War I. The parade will honor Private First Class Darrell Melville Dunkle, the first Reno citizen to die in World War I. Brigadier General Ondra Berry, Commander of the Nevada Air Guard, will serve as the parade’s Grand Marshall.
This year, 85 groups will march in the Reno Veterans Dayparade, including U.S. military veterans’ groups, non-profit organizations serving veterans, JROTC, military units, and ROTC.
“We’ll have different elected officials from the city, the county and the state walking in the parade and giving out candy and 1,200 little American flags,” Hill said. “We’ll have antique fire engines and then all the Veterans’ groups. It’s really cool.”
For Hill, one of the most touching moments is when wounded veterans join the parade.
“The VA hospital will come out and bring wounded veterans,” Hill said. “If they can’t walk, they’ll be wheeling them in wheelchairs. It almost makes me want to tear up just talking about it.”