After a COVID-canceled 2020 Veterans Day parade and celebration, and a small and abbreviated 2021 event, the day honoring those who have served in the Armed Forces will return in force on Saturday at Houghton Park in North Long Beach with a full schedule of activities including a fun run, an obstacle course, live music, a kids’ zone, food trucks and a flag-tow flyover during the singing of the Star-Spangled Banner.
The event is a collaboration by Long Beach Council District 9, the Long Beach Veterans Day Committee and the Veterans Affairs Commission. District 9 Councilmember Rex Richardson will emcee the event which will, once again, be held without a parade.
“After meeting with veterans, we found that a lot of the younger veterans were more interested in community service opportunities and more physical activities and events for families than in a parade,” said co-organizer and Veterans Affairs Commissioner Gus Orozco. He noted that the organizers got off to a late start in the planning and that the event’s offerings, which could include a parade, could change in the future.
In addition to entertainment and activities, there will be a resource fair on site with tables offering information on veterans and other community resources.
While the official hours of Saturday’s celebration are 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., there will be a fun run (or walk) starting at 9:30 a.m., followed by a soft opening at 10:30 a.m. with the opening of the Auld Dubliner’s beer garden and veterans/community resources table.
The kick-off at 11 will feature the Lakewood High School color guard’s presentation of the flag and plane flyover. The hit cover band Knight Ryder will perform rock from the 1980s before and after speeches by public officials and DJ Dennis Owen will entertain throughout the day as well.
At 1 p.m., airshow performer John Colliver will put on an aerobatic show in his North American SNJ-5 War Dog.
Houghton Park is at 6301 Myrtle Ave. in North Long Beach.