Veterans Day

Hartshorne readying for Nov. 12 parade for Veterans Day

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Hartshorne is gearing up for it’s Second Annual Veterans Day parade — and organizers are hoping this year’s event is even better than the one held in 2021.

It’s set to begin in downtown Hartshorne at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12, the first day of the weekend following the Nov. 11 Veterans Day. Theme of this year’s parade is “Welcome Home.”

Aaron Williams at Hartshorne City Hall said there are already a number of parade participants signed up, with more expected.

“We’ve got people coming from all over who are going to be in it,” Williams said. Some major participants have already confirmed they will be in Hartshorne for the Veterans Day Parade.

“MOAB will be there,” said Williams, referring to McAlester Army Ammunition Plant display nicknamed the Mother of All Bombs. “The Verner Clydesdales will be there,” he added.

Parade attractions aren’t limited to the streets. “We’ll also have a flyover,” Williams said.

Others participants include the Choctaw Nation Color Guard. Law enforcement agencies from many of the local police forces, as well as the Choctaw Nation Tribal Police and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol are also expected to participate.

As a special tribute to veterans, a bus will be in place prior to the parade near the Pettit building at the corner of Penn Avenue and Eighth Street, Williams said. Veterans are encouraged to board the bus for a short ride up Penn Avenue where they will  disembark with special seating in place for them to watch the parade as it passes.

Those wanting to participate in the parade with a float, a vehicle or some other way have until 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10, to sign up at Hartshorne City Hall during regular business hours or by phoning 918 297-2544.

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No entry fees are in place and cash prizes of $125, $75 and $50 will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners, courtesy of the H-Town Throwdown, Williams said. Those wanting to participate should know that the MOAB display from McAAP is not a part of the float competition. It would win every time, Williams observed.

Williams also said those who want to throw candy should make sure they have someone on the street to do the throwing. No candy should be thrown from floats or vehicles as a safety measure for children along the street, he said.

Venders are elcome and can set up for free, but they’re required to check in with City Hall first at 918 297-2544, Williams said. “They can call and get approval,” he said. All types of venders are welcome, as long as they check with City Hall first, as required.

“It can be crafts, food, anything they want to sell or give away,” Williams said. He said the venders are welcome to stick around through the afternoon after the parade is completed.

The parade is set to start at 10 a.m. near the Pettit building at the corner of Eighth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, as U.S. Highway 270 is called as it goes through the center of downtown Hartshorne. The parade then heads east up Penn Avenue.

Williams said the parade lineup begins an hour earlier, around 9 a.m. in the alley behind the first Baptist Church off S. Eleventh Street, about a half-block south of Penn Avenue.

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How did Hartshorne come up with the inspiration last year to begin holding a Veterans Day parade?

Williams said he, along with Hartshorne City Clerk Elizabeth Wilson and City Treasurer Renee Montgomery were talking one day.

“Elizabeth’s father, William Sitters was in the Navy,” he said. “Renee’s father, Richard Wayne Eller, was in the Air Force. I had relatives in the military as well,” Williams said. They wanted to hold an event to honor veterans and current military and when they ran it by Hartshorne Mayor Ashley Faulkner, she agreed. Pleased by last year’s event, they decided to do it again.

“We are happy to honor our veterans, then and now,” said Williams.

James Beaty

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