Maricopa will see its inaugural Veterans Day Parade this November.
The route begins 9 a.m. on Nov. 11 at Legacy Traditional school, continues north on Porter Road, and ends near the lake at Pacana Park.
Portions of Porter Road will be closed during the event.
After a flag-raising ceremony, veterans and their families will be treated to a lunch and ceremony inside Leading Edge Academy.
The American Legion Auxiliary Unit 133, Tortosa Home Owners Association, Leading Edge Academy and the City of Maricopa have partnered to organize the event.
Auxiliary Unit Members Gabriela Potter and Janice Vitali said planning efforts began one year ago.
“The city and their departments have been very helpful,” Potter said. “We got with them first to see what we needed to do.”
Aiding in the early planning stages was the city’s Special Events and Marketing Manager Niesha Whitman.
“She kind of guided us with what we needed to do because it has never been operated like this. There were no guidelines, yet,” Potter said.
Maricopa Unified School District, Legacy Traditional School and Sequoia Pathway Academy sponsor the event and will encourage students to participate.
“Part of our mission is to promote patriotism with the schools, and we thought it would be great to have a parade that would be the way to show our respect to them in the community,” Potter said. “And Tortosa has always been really great, doing events for veterans.”
Thursday morning, Potter and Vitali met with Tortosa Lifestyle Director Christine Garcia to finalize details.
Garcia said float entries are encouraged to display patriotism. Members of the planning committee request the focus stay on veterans during the parade by leaving out political messages and business advertisements.
Students, veteran and military organizations, local law enforcement and fire departments are all expected to participate in the parade and ceremony.
Maricopa has historically held various events celebrating Veterans Day. Potter and Garcia agreed the combined effort through multiple organizations in the city is unifying.
“We are wives, daughters and granddaughters of veterans, so our role is to promote the patriotism and to help veterans and educate youth,” Potter said in regards to auxiliary members. “For us, this was the way to bring the community together.”
Registration for the parade is currently under review by the city. InMaricopa will update this story with a link to registration once available.