The annual East Valley Veterans Parade will honor our nation’s veterans Friday, Nov. 11, at 11 a.m. in downtown Mesa. With more than 90 entries, the parade begins at the Center Street and University Drive intersection. It will travel south on Center Street and turn west on First Street. The parade will continue on First Street to Robson, where it will end.
This year’s parade has the theme “Raise the Flag,” recognizing the impact of various flags and their importance to our military veterans. Parade participants are invited to fly their flags. More information about the parade is available at www.evvp.org.
The grand marshal is Retired Army Colonel Bruce Crandall, who received the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military honor, in 2007 for his heroic actions as a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War. Crandall, a former public works manager for the City of Mesa, was a technical adviser for the 2002 movie “We Were Soldiers.” One of the main characters is based on Crandall and was portrayed by actor Greg Kinnear.
Prior to the parade, at 10:40 a.m., a brief program will recognize Veterans for their service to our country. It will include remarks from Mesa Mayor John Giles.
The following streets will close for the parade:
6:30 a.m. (parade staging)
Center Street – all streets that intersect Center north of University Drive will be closed on both sides of Center (5th St., 6th St., 6th Place, 7th St., 8th Place and 9th Place)
Center Street – 9th Place to University Drive (no northbound traffic)
Center Street – at Brown Road (local traffic only southbound from Brown)
Center Street – at 9th Place (reduced to one southbound lane to University Drive)
8th Street – Center to Mesa Drive (local traffic only; Mesa Drive to Fitch Park driveway)
Athletics Way (6th Place) – Center to Fitch Field parking lot
8 a.m. (the parade route will be closed)
Center Street – University Drive to Pepper Place
3rd Place – Center Street to Drew
MLK Way – Center Street to Centennial Way
2nd Street – at Center Street
2nd Street – Robson to Country Club Drive
1st Street – Centennial Way to Country Club Drive
Macdonald – Pepper Place to 2nd Street
Robson – Pepper Place to 2nd Street
Morris – 1st Street to 2nd Street
University Drive – Mesa Drive to Country Club Drive
All streets adjacent to Center Street north of University to Brown Road will not be able to access Center Street at 6:30 a.m. All streets adjacent to Center Street south of University will be unable to access Center Street at 8 a.m.
University Drive will reopen to through traffic at Center Street at approximately 12:30 p.m. All streets should reopen by 2 p.m. Traffic can detour around the parade route by using Main Street, Mesa Drive, Country Club Drive and Brown Road.
To celebrate and honor service members, the Arizona Museum of Natural History and i.d.e.a. Museum are offering free admission on Nov. 11 for veterans and active military, plus three additional guests (up to four guests per party). The Commemorative Air Force Museum at Falcon Field Airport is offering free admission to anyone who has served in the U.S. Armed Forces. A Bells of Peace Observance will be held at the museum at 11 a.m.
The City of Mesa offices will be closed on Nov. 11 in observance of Veterans Day. Trash and recycle barrels will be on the regular collection schedule. Residents should have their containers out by 6 a.m.
All branches of Mesa Public Library will be closed Nov. 11. Red Mountain Center will be open 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. with no classes offered. Webster, Jefferson, Broadway and Eagles recreation centers will be closed. The Kino Aquatic Center and Skyline Aquatic Center will be closed for adult lap swimming. Dobson Ranch Golf Course and Oakwood Creative Care will be open.
The Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, box office and administrative offices will be closed.
Local bus and light rail routes will operate on their regular weekday schedules. Express and RAPID commuter bus services will not operate that day. Route 30 – University Drive Eastbound and Westbound, Route 112 – Country Club Northbound to Centennial/Main, Route 120 – Mesa Drive Northbound and Southbound, and the Downtown BUZZ will be detoured from start-of-service until 2 p.m. Visit www.valleymetro.org/rider-alerts for details.
Other Veterans Day observances in Mesa include the Royal Air Force Cadet Memorial Service Sunday, Nov. 13 at 10:45 a.m. at the Mesa Cemetery, 1212 N. Center St. The service, presented by the Commemorative Air Force Airbase Arizona, honors the 23 British cadets and one American pilot killed in air accidents during Falcon Field’s four years as a training facility for U.S. and British fighter pilots during World War II. Those individuals are buried in a special section of the Mesa Cemetery. This observance has been held in Mesa annually for more than 30 years.