Veterans Parade Set For Nov. 9

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Payson's tribute to veterans will be bigger and better in its sophomore year.

Entries are now being accepted for the second annual Veterans Day Parade scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 9 on historic Main Street.

The event should be much larger than the initial parade last year which had 40 entries, Lee Pretsch, parade chairman, said.

"This year the Shriners are coming up, we're trying to get Miss Rodeo Arizona, we've invited Bison Ranch and a cowgirl group," Pretsch said. "In addition, Roy Nethken, the new owner of the Ox Bow Saloon, is an Air Force veteran, and he is arranging a flyover of F-16s and F-4s."

Other highlights include a variety of helicopters, a static display of men and equipment from the National Guard, and a special appearance by World War I flying ace Doggie Klein with his vintage biplane.

The festivities begin with an 8 a.m. flag raising ceremony at Mazatzal Casino.

"After the ceremony, the casino is serving a complimentary breakfast to all veterans and their guests, and is providing them with red armbands and a free $10 match play," Pretsch said.

Virtually all local restaurants and hotels also are providing discounts or free beverages to veterans.

Following the parade which begins at Sawmill Crossing, wends its way down a festively decorated Main Street, and concludes at Green Valley Park a special ceremony honoring veterans will be held.

"We've invited (Arizona Sen.) John McCain and (Republican gubernatorial candidate) Matt Salmon," Pretsch said. "It's right after the election, so we just might have the new governor here."

In addition, the Beeliners Barbershop Quartet featuring KMOG's Don Holcombe will sing the national anthem at the Green Valley ceremony.

Any individual or group can be in the parade by completing an application on or before Oct. 25. There is no entry fee, but donations will be accepted.

For a parade application or more information, call Pretsch at 474-2170 or visit the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce office at Highway 87 and Main Street.

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