Albany holds 'Largest Veterans Day parade west of the Mississippi'
ALBANY, Ore. --Some say that the Veterans Day parade in Albany is the largest parade for the holiday held west of the Mississippi. If you spoke to any of the hundreds of volunteers that made Saturday's parade possible, they will let you know why.
Aside from the tens of thousands of visitors each year and the over 300 entries that walked the parade route, organizers said that this parade is one of the longest-running events for veterans day still held annually on the west coast.
Al Severson was the announcer for the 61st annual Albany Veterans Day Parade, held Saturday.
"The Jim Barnet family, him and his young marines started it 61 years ago. We are the largest veterans day parade west of the Mississippi. The most patriotic county in the nation." Severson said.
Al has volunteered at over half of those 61 parades and said it takes a year of planning to organize it.
This ear each branch of the military was represented in the parade. Vietnam War Veteran Tim Wehr said that having such a positive representation of the US service personnel is important for younger generations.
"I think they need to see the sacrifice people have made for our country." Wehr said.
Organizers estimated that 40,000 people came out to Saturday's parade.