By Raiza Giorgi
Along with the regular program at the Solvang Veterans Memorial Hall, including the flag raising and remarks from local dignitaries on Thursday, Nov. 11, Santa Ynez Valley veterans will have a new fun event to mark Veterans Day with a parade in Santa Ynez on Saturday, Nov. 13.
“The first Annual Santa Ynez Salute to Vets will be a new and fun event with the parade, display of military vehicles and a program in front of The Maverick Saloon,” said Alvin Salge, Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7139.
The VFW Post 7139 will honor and salute all American veterans who throughout our history have unselfishly placed their lives on the line for our freedom and way of life at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 11, at the Solvang Veterans Memorial Hall.
Veterans Day started as Armistice Day on November 11, 1918, when fighting was ceased in World War I.
“This year we plan to have our full program in the Veterans Large Hall,” Salge said. “Masks will be required by attendees in the Large Hall.”
The event includes an American Legion flag raising in front of the hall, national anthem and songs sung by the Santa Ynez Valley Chorale, the Santa Ynez Valley Union High School band, and Vandenberg Space Force Base and local veteran speakers. A free luncheon will follow the program in the American Legion Wing served by Country Garden Catering, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the American Heritage Girls.
“We invite all veterans, their families and caring citizens to attend,” Salge said. “We also welcome veterans from allied countries who fought beside our servicemen and women.”
He also announced a new event starting this year: The Santa Ynez Valley Patriot Parade will be on Saturday, Nov. 13.
This free veterans event is sponsored by the Santa Barbara Veterans Foundation and the Santa Ynez Valley Elks Lodge. It will start with a parade at 11 a.m., going up Sagunto Street from the Maverick Saloon to the Red Barn and then loop around Santa Ynez and return to the Maverick on Meadowvale.
The parade entrants so far will be the American Legion and Chumash color guards, Flat Fender Club military vehicles, Jim Kunkle’s Jeep, Daughters of the American Revolution, Boy Scouts, Patriot Riders motorcycles, and other patriotic entrants.
Once the parade returns to the Maverick, there will be a display of military vehicles and a program in front of the Maverick with the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, the national anthem and Pledge of Allegiance, as well as military speakers, a live band, and a Pinup Girl contest. John Palminteri from KEYT will be emcee for part of the program.
“There will be a military aircraft flyover by Ken Karis in his WWII trainer and a potential skydiver,” Salge added.
All donations collected will benefit tri-county veterans and their families through the Santa Barbara Veterans Foundation.
For more information call 805-350-2006 or visit www.salutetothevets.org.