Arizona was home to over half a million veterans in 2017, according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs’ most recent data.
This year’s Veterans Day should be a big one, with COVID-19 vaccinations and loosened restrictions meaning that events and parades held in their honor are back.
Looking to celebrate Veterans Day in Arizona this week? Here are some events to look out for.
The city of Surprise is holding a breakfast and parade to celebrate Veterans Day this year.
The pancake breakfast at Surprise Stadium in the centerfield plaza will offer $6 plates and $2 refreshments from 7:30-9:30 a.m. on Nov. 11. The parade, with free admission, begins at 10 a.m. and goes along Bullard Avenue between Paradise Lane and Tierra Buena Lane.
The city of Glendale and the Glendale Chamber of Commerce Military and Veterans Affairs Committee are holding a Veterans Day Ceremony at the Glendale Main Library at 8 a.m. on Nov. 11.
The ceremony will be held on the lawn outside the library and will include flag raisings and flag retiring. The event is free and open to the public. Those who do not want to or cannot attend in person can watch one of two livestreams of the event.
The city of Tucson is not holding a parade this week, but it is offering free admission to the Reid Park Zoo for active and retired military members on Nov. 11. Up to six family members of attending service members can receive a reduced admission of $5. This promotion lasts from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The International Wildlife Museum in Tucson is also offering free admission for all military with an ID from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Veterans Day. Child dependents receive free admission with no ID required.
Honoring America’s Veterans is holding its annual Phoenix Veterans Day parade on Nov. 11. The parade starts at 11 a.m. on Montebello and Central avenues and goes through Camelback Road and Seventh Street before ending at Indian School Road, according to HWA’s website.
The parade will feature 15 marching units, around 2,500 total marchers, 10 floats, and approximately 45,000 spectators (spectating is free).
Prescott is holding its 2021 Veterans Day parade in the downtown area on Nov. 11. According to the city’s website, the parade with free admission will start with opening ceremonies at 10:30 a.m. on the intersection of Cortez Street and Union Street with the parade beginning at 11 a.m.
This year’s theme is “Honoring World War II Veterans—A Grateful Nation Salutes the Greatest Generation.” As of 2017, less than 5% of Arizona’s veterans population had served in World War II, so the event is an opportunity to salute the last surviving members of the WWII generation.
Mesa is holding its annual East Valley Veterans Parade downtown on Nov. 11. Expect aerial demonstrations of vintage aircraft as well as over 100 parade entries.
This year’s theme is “Military Art & Artists,” celebrating military art throughout the year. The parade will start at 11 a.m. along Center Street and go until 2 p.m. Admission is free.
While Gilbert is not holding a parade, the city is holding a golfing contest on Veterans Day this year. The 3rd Annual Drive, Chipp, & Putt Contest will be held at the Seville Golf & Country Club.
Non-veterans cannot participate but are welcome as spectators. Check-in is at 3 p.m. with the contest starting at 3:30 p.m. There will be a barbecue at 5 p.m. as well as a concert and fireworks at 6:30 p.m.
There is also a Veterans Day ceremony from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Gilbert Regional Park, featuring guest speakers, musical performances, and military displays, with free admission.
Chandler is holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new Field Of Honor, a veterans memorial that the city says is a first for its size in the Southeast Valley. Chandler’s website describes the memorial as honoring “past, present, and future” veterans.
The event takes place at the Veterans Oasis Park at 5 p.m. and has free admission. Those attending should park at Mesquite Groves Aquatic Center to take a shuttle to the park.
Tempe is not holding a Veterans Day parade this year, but the city is partnering with the nonprofit Team Red White and Blue as well as StartLine Racing to host the 9th Annual Veterans Day 10K, 5K, and 1-Mile run/walk on Nov. 13.
Portions of proceeds will go to Team Red White and Blue, which states its mission is to “enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.”
The registration deadline is Nov. 12. The event has a 750 participant limit, and was 73% full as of Nov. 9, with a cost of $45 for the 10K, $35 for the 5k, and $25 for the 1 mile.