Converse said the American Legion post in Winfield will serve as the lead color guard for the parade and that the Patriot Guard riders will be the lead element. He's received calls from a few larger corporations in the area that want to be included.
He said more marching bands were needed.
The commanding officer of the USS West Virginia will serve as the parade grand marshal and speaker for the event at Haddad Riverfront Park immediately following the parade, Converse said. Several others from the nuclear submarine will accompany him.
The parade usually extends about 1.2 miles but Converse estimates with the larger turnout this year the parade could stretch two miles or more.
He said the federal designation has prompted more help from state and federal agencies. The governor's office and veterans assistance have provided assistance, he said.
"The federal and state government officials seem to have gotten behind the parade more this year," Converse said. "We always get good support from the City of Charleston but we've gotten better support this year. The city's always been very gracious to us."
The parade is scheduled for Nov. 10. Participants will line up on Kanawha Boulevard near Leon Sullivan Way at 9:15 a.m.
The parade will begin at 10 a.m. and will travel north on Leon Sullivan to Quarrier Street, and then head west to Truslow Street where it will turn south to Kanawha Boulevard. The parade will disperse at Haddad Riverfront Park.
A ceremony is tentatively scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. at the park. The time may change as the parade grows.
For more information, contact Converse at econve2...@aol.com or 304-545-4057.
Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at ashley.cr...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4850.