The people of Lycoming County and throughout this “Land of the Free” owe a lot to the military veterans who have served this country in peace and in war. In a bid to show appreciation to our local veterans, the annual Lycoming County Veterans Day Parade will be held this Saturday, November 4, stepping off at 2 p.m.
You might ask why the parade is being held a week early in November since Veterans Day is normally observed on November 11. Well, there is a method to this seeming madness. According to Doug Lane, a member of the parade organizing committee, it is being done to attract participants who might not be able to attend on the actual date due to other commitments. For example, the 28th Infantry Division Band and a bagpipe band from State College each have commitments on the conventional date for Veterans Day and, as a consequence, would not be able to participate in the local parade. There are also local veterans and related organizations that would also have conflicts if the parade would be held on the 11th.
For many years, beginning in the 1920s, an annual parade was held here in Lycoming County to mark Armistice Day, the end of World War I; this later evolved into a parade recognizing all veterans when the date became known as “Veterans Day.” This celebration of patriotism continued until it seemed to fade away in the early 1980s.
It was revived in 2013 at the behest of a committee made up of area veterans put together by and encouraged by then-State Representative Rick Mirabito and groups such as iHeart Media. It was decided to rotate the parade among the various communities in Lycoming County. The first revived parade was held in the City of Williamsport on the Saturday nearest to Veterans Day.
This year’s parade will take place in the city of Williamsport. “We are glad to have the 2023 parade in Williamsport on November 4, 2023, at 2 p.m. on West Fourth St. from Campbell Street to Pine Street. This gets the parade back on schedule with plans to return to Muncy in 2024. The committee attempts to recruit a high-profile elected official from each community to help keep everyone on board for the good of the order for that year’s parade.” Lane told Webb Weekly.
Lane pointed out that Mayor Derek Slaughter has provided City Fire Chief Sam Aungst this year to help with the parade, and he and other city departments have been instrumental in the smooth planning for Saturday’s Parade. All involved are hoping for a safe and enjoyable time as we honor our Veterans.