The City of San Marcos is now accepting entries for the 2022 Veterans Day Parade, which will be held on Saturday, Nov. 5 and presented by the City of San Marcos Parks and Recreation Department with assistance from the Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee. The parade will begin at 10 a.m., with pre-parade activities and entertainment beginning on the lawn of the Hays County Courthouse at 9 a.m.
The theme of this year’s parade will be “Honoring All Who Served the United States of America.” Everyone is invited to participate, including veterans’ groups, military organizations, civic clubs, bands, drill teams, public officials, equestrians, youth teams, and classic vehicles. There is no fee to participate, but all entrants must fill out an application no later than Oct. 28. Applications may be found online at sanmarcostx.gov/parade.
The parade will begin at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Hopkins Street and CM Allen Parkway. The parade will pass the Hays County Courthouse, turn left onto Guadalupe Street, turn left onto San Antonio Street, turn left onto CM Allen Parkway, and then turn right onto Hopkins Street before disbanding at the line up area.
Street closures for the parade will begin at 7:30 a.m. Pre-parade activities will take place on the lawn of the Hays County Courthouse beginning at 9 a.m., including the Kiwanis Club Kids Bicycle Brigade available to children ages 5 and older.
Spectator parking is available at City Park, the Old Fish Hatchery Building, and Rio Vista Park. Additional limited parking will be available downtown outside of the road closure area and handicap parking is available at Veramendi Plaza Park.
This year’s Grand Marshal is San Marcos resident and U.S. Army Specialist Abelardo Loya. Specialist Abelardo Loya served in the US Army from 1969 to 1971 in support of the Vietnam War. Specialist Loya received the Silver Star Medal for his gallantry in action against an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. His unit was ambushed by an unknown size enemy force. Reacting immediately and with complete disregard for his personal safety, Specialist Loya began engaging with insurgents at point blank range. Specialist Loya ran out of ammunition and suffered a chest wound. Ignoring the pain caused by the wound, Specialist Loya charged the enemy, successfully eliminating them. Specialist Loya’s personal heroism, professional competence and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, the Americal Division, and the United States Army. Specialist Loya was also awarded the Purple Heart for injuries sustained during his tour in the Vietnam campaign, and the Combat Infantry Badge for directly engaging with the enemy in combat.
Pre-parade entertainment will be provided by local songwriter and Veteran Dee Bartlett followed by Acapella Unlimited. The parade will kick-off with a flyover by the Commemorative Air Force-Central Texas Wing.
Kiwanis Club Kids Bicycle Brigade
The Kiwanis Club of San Marcos is celebrating 100 years of service to youth in our community! They will be on hand between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. to help decorate bicycles, tricycles, and scooters for the parade. Free flags, streamers, and sign materials will be available on the courthouse lawn. Children ages 5 and older are invited to join as Kiwanis Club members lead an escort into the parade and around the Courthouse. Pre-registration for the Kiwanis Club Kids Bicycle Brigade is not necessary. Participants will be entered into a drawing for a free bicycle.
Austin Area Marine Corps Toys for Tots
The Austin Area Marine Corps Toys for Tots is a donation based non-profit program that collects new, unwrapped toys starting October 1 through the beginning of December to hand out to local families in need during the holiday season. Toy donations come from businesses, workplaces, and schools that register to become a toy collection site. Monetary donations are also accepted and go toward the purchase of toys. To register to receive toys or to donate, visit auztin-tx.toysfortots.org.
Veterans Month of Service
The City of San Marcos Parks and Recreation Department, with assistance from the Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee, will host a month of community service opportunities in honor of Veterans Day. Residents are encouraged to decorate their home, vehicle, or business with patriotic items throughout the month of November. A different service activity honoring veterans will be promoted each week:
Honor a Veteran (Nov. 1-7)
Submit the name, photo, and brief description of a veteran to be added to the San Marcos Veterans Story Map, an interactive map honoring veterans from all wars, available at sanmarcostx.gov/monthofservice. Submissions may be made online or by emailing email@example.com with the name and a brief description of that person. A Facebook album will be created on the SMTX Parks and Rec page with submitted photos and descriptions.
Donate to Wreaths Across America (Nov. 8-14)
Sponsor a remembrance wreath for gravesites of veterans buried in the San Marcos City Cemetery. Donations may be made at wreathsacrossamerica.org/tx0916. Wreaths will be placed on gravesites on Dec. 17, 2022.
Write a Letter to a Veteran (Nov. 15-21)
Write a letter for a veteran living in Texas State Veterans Homes. Letters may be submitted and delivered through the Veterans Land Board Mail Drop Program. More information can be found on their website at vlb.texas.gov.
Donate to the Hays County Food Bank (Nov. 22-30)
Make a monetary donation or donate items for distribution to veterans through the Hays County Food Bank. A list of items and instruction may be found online at haysfoodbank.org.
Parade sectators are encouraged to bring toys to drop off during the parade at the marked collection site located Downtown at the announcer’s podium. The Austin Area Marine Corps Toys for Tots will also be collecting toys from their parade float.
For more information about the Month of Service initiative and links to the partner organizations visit www.sanmarcostx.gov/monthofservice. For additional questions, contact the Parks and Recreation department at 512-393-8400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For media inquiries, contact email@example.com.
About the City of San Marcos Parks and Recreation Department: The Parks and Recreation Department works to provide the citizens and visitors of San Marcos the highest quality of programs, parks, facilities, and services that positively enhances our community. The Parks and Recreation Department has a history of providing diverse and continuous programs for citizens and visitors and excels in providing maintained parks such as Rio Vista Park, educational centers such as the Discovery Center, and many more activities and resources for everyone in San Marcos.