CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Kanawha Valley residents will have a chance to see the biggest edition ever of what is likely the largest Veterans' Day parade in the state next week.
Monday morning, about 1,500 people representing nearly 80 organizations will parade through streets in downtown Charleston for the 72nd Annual Veterans' Day parade.
The annual event is organized by the John Brawley Post 20 of the American Legion in Charleston.
"From the number of entries we have right now, it's the largest we've ever had in Charleston," said Ed Converse, the parade coordinator for the American Legion post.
The parade's route will begin at the intersection of Kanawha Boulevard and Leon Sullivan Way. From there, it will go north on Leon Sullivan, west on Quarrier Street, south on Court Street and then east on the Boulevard to its terminus at Haddad Riverfront Park. It will begin at 10 a.m.
After the parade, there will be a remembrance ceremony honoring veterans at Haddad Riverfront Park. Retired Col. Tom Greisbaum, the Junior ROTC instructor at South Charleston High School, will be the keynote speaker.
To accommodate the parade, the Boulevard will be completely shut down between Brooks and Clendenin streets from 8 a.m. until the early afternoon when the parade and related events are over, said Charleston Police Lt. Aaron James, the department's special events coordinator.
Aside from the Boulevard, city police will conduct rolling roadblocks on the parade route while the event occurs.
"It's going to be the biggest Veterans' Day parade in 72 years," James said.
Numerous veteran organizations will be represented in the parade, including the American Legion Ford Mullins Post 94 in South Charleston, American Legion Col. Charles Young Post 57 in Institute, the St. Albans VFW, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 37 in Charleston, Charleston VFW Post 8129, the Paralyzed Veterans of America and the Beni Kedem Shrine Legion of Honor.
One veteran, 91-year-old Oscar Goodwin, will also ride in the parade.
Daughters of the American Revolution Kanawha Valley Chapter, Anna Bailey Chapter and William Morris Chapter will also participate. A local Rosie the Riveters group will be riding on a float and the Gold Star Mothers will be riding a KRT trolley.