Veterans Parade | Mesa, Arizona
The East Valley Veterans Parade Association is an all-volunteer community event organization that relies on the generosity of local businesses, organizations and individuals to accomplish this collective patriotic tribute.
Join us in this spirited celebration by becoming a sponsor or a donor. Bring your family and friends to the parade on Wednesday, November 11, 2020.
November 11, 2020 at 11 a.m.
The East Valley Veterans Parade starts on Center St. and University Dr. in Mesa and runs South on Center St. to 1st St. It then turns west onto 1st St. and continues to Robson.
The East Valley Veterans Parade provides an opportunity for the community to gather in honoring, thanking and celebrating local Veterans, active Military, and their families.
History of the East Valley Veterans Parade
In the spring of 2006, the City of Mesa found it necessary to trim its budget due to the economic slump that was occurring around the country and the world. One of the departments that would be most affected by these cuts was the City Parks and Recreation Department, which announced that the City of Mesa would no longer hold the Veterans Day or Martin Luther King Day parades.
Leaders of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), American Legion, Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and the Marine Corp League were asked to participate in City council meetings to try convince the City to continue this 40-year-old tradition in Mesa.
Local residents Gerry Walker and Frank “Gunny” Alger arranged to be interviewed by a Tribune reporter with VFW Post 1760 building in the background. Gerry stated that as far as he was concerned, “There will be a Veterans Day parade if it is only me marching down the street with Frank watching.”
The Marine Corps League (Saguaro Chapter) in Mesa took the lead and the Mesa Veterans Parade Association was formed. Creation of the association, fund raising, assembling the parade and insuring participation was a daunting task that was accomplished in minimal time.
The tradition of a Veterans parade was continued through the gallant efforts of these dedicated individuals. The parade continued to evolve, culminating in 2013 when the organization changed its name to the East Valley Veterans Parade in order to reflect the participation of parade entrants and sponsors from not only Mesa, but also Gilbert, Chandler, Apache Junction, Tempe, Scottsdale and Queen Creek.
Thanks for letting me know about the parade. My husband and I went, and it was glorious!! The flyovers were thrilling, and the parade made me proud to be an American! My husband wore his “submarine” baseball cap and he was delighted to be given cards, flags, stars, and pins from people in and around the parade. It was the best Veterans Day Parade I have ever been to!
Banners of the Fallen Memorial
The “Banners of the Fallen Memorial” was designed originally as a static display shown during periods of recognition such as Celebration of Freedom in Mesa and Constitution Week in Gilbert. Jim Monroe, then president of the EVVP Association, approached the organizers and they agreed to allow the banners to be carried in the Veterans Parade. East Valley Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (JROTCs) agreed to proudly carry the banners in the Parade each year in what has become an emotional tribute.
In 2014, the “Garrison Flag” carried by the College Bound organization was moved to the front of the Fallen Memorial Banners.
The 2015 parade was the largest in numbers of participants and spectators. The East Valley Veterans Parade Association is proud to have been able to provide a fitting memorial for our fallen and for those heroes who sacrificed for our freedom.