An update from the Palm Bay Police Department as of 11/9: Unfortunately, due to inclement weather, the Palm Bay Veterans Day Parade has been cancelled.
BREVARD COUNTY — This Veteran’s Day, take a moment to reflect what it means to be American and to be able to enjoy the freedoms our country offers. Most importantly, thank a veteran for their service and the sacrifices they’ve made, which often means spending time apart from their families.
Residents and visitors looking for something special to do to honor our veterans are invited to attend the city of Palm Bay’s inaugural Veteran’s Day Parade next weekend.
The city of Palm Bay has partnered with American Legion Post 117 to put on this patriotic event, which will take place on Saturday, Nov. 9.
The parade is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. at City Hall and will head east on Malabar Road to Emerson Drive, then will move south and end at Doat Street SE.
“As I meet with different members of the city of Palm Bay, I always said I wanted a parade in our city, the most Veteran Friendly City in Florida, by my opinion,” said Bruce Thurber, Commander at American Legion Department of Florida 12th District.
“After years of talking about it, we received a call from Kenny Johnson who asked us to meet with him at City Hall as he wanted to make it happen,” Mr. Thurber continued. “We laid out our idea to him and next thing you know, we have the Palm Bay Veterans Parade first planning meeting.”
The parade will feature representatives from the United States Air Force, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Sebastian Area Vets Honor Guard, ROTC groups, the Heritage High School Marching Panthers band and the Southwest Middle School Cheerleaders.
United States Congressman Bill Posey (R- Dist. 8) will lead the parade as Grand Marshall.
The American Legion Riders will join in the festivities with more than 30 motorcycles, according to Andy Dimmig, community outreach coordinator for the city of Palm Bay. Additionally, there will be an Air Force flyover of a loud and large C-130 aircraft.
Spectators can find viewing areas set up in the median and sidewalks of Malabar Road, which will be closed in both directions from Emerson Drive to Minton Road. Emerson Drive will be closed between Malabar Road and Jupiter Boulevard. Roads will re-open after the event is cleared up of pedestrians and barriers.
After the parade, members of the American Legion Post 117 are inviting the public to join them for a Veterans Picnic. Food will be available for purchase at $5 per individual.
“They are also taking donations at the Legion,” added Mr. Dimmig. “Proceeds will go to the Palm Bay Parks & Recreation Department to help kids participate in sports programs.”
The picnic will feature guest speakers, including U.S. Congressman Bill Posey, Brigadier General Douglas A. Schiess, Sherriff Wayne Ivey, American Legion National Executive Committeeman Dennis Boland, and other local officials.
A special appearance will be made by 1986 Daytona 500 winner Geoff Bodine, who will present his 2010 Olympic Gold Medal bobsled.
“Palm Bay loves and appreciates all of our veterans, and the sacrifices made by them and their families,” Mr. Dimmig said. “It is important for us to show them that we care about them and thank them for their service to our country. Being Veterans Day weekend, we decided that this was the perfect time to hold a parade in their honor.”
For more information, call (321) 952-3443 or email parade@PBFL.org.