Veterans Day in Arizona
Veterans Day Parade and Celebrations in Arizona
Every year, the state of Arizona comes together to celebrate and honor our military veterans on November 11th. We honor the sacrifices they made and the danger they put forth for our freedom. This is the 100th year of celebrating Veterans Day in Arizona!
This year, go beyond a simple ‘thank-you’ and join one of the many parades and ceremonies to honor our brave military men and women.
First, here are some facts to brush up on:
- The first Veterans Day in Arizona began as Armistice Day in 1919 to commemorate the first anniversary of the end of World War I. It officially became a national holiday in 1938.
- In 1954, President Eisenhower changed the name of the holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day.
- In 1971, a Congressional law tried to move Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. However, President Ford changed it back to November 11th in 1975.
- The U.S. currently boasts 18.2 million military veterans with more than half a million residing in Arizona.
- There are less than half a million living veterans who served in World War II (1941-1945).
So, where can you go to honor these brave men and women?
One of the largest parades in the state is held in Anthem. It features more than 100 entries from floats to marching bands and military vehicles to a wide range of patriotic groups. This year the parade Grand Marshals will be from the Submariner community.
Location: Starts at Gavilan Peak Parkway and ends at the Community Center, Anthem
Hours: 10 a.m. on Saturday, November 9th, 2019
A privately funded parade, the East Valley Veterans Day Parade boasts more than 2,000 participants and 40,000 spectators from all over the East Valley. Get ready for patriotic floats, marching bands, a range of vintage military vehicles and the signature Fallen Soldier Memorial, plus fly-overs by vintage WWII planes and plenty more excitement.
After the parade, head over to the Mesa Arts Center for a free Veterans’ Benefit Concert.
Location: Starts at W. University Drive and N. Center Street. It heads south to W. First Street and then west to end at N. Robson.
Hours: 11 a.m. on Monday, November 11th, 2019
More than 45,000 spectators end up lining the streets of downtown Phoenix to watch as 2,500 participants pass with floats, military vehicles and marching bands, plus a World War II plane fly-over. This year’s Grand Marshal is World War II veteran, Mike Rizzo.
Location: The parade starts Montebello and Central Avenues. It proceeds south to Camelback, then across to 7th Street and finishes at Indian School Road.
Hours: 11 a.m. on Monday, November 11th, 2019
For over 60 years, the Tempe Veterans Day Parade has held strong. Witness a parade of classic cars, muscle cars, marching bands, a color guard, members of the Tempe police, and plenty of other patriotic groups. A short ceremony will follow in the park and then a picnic for participants and sponsors.
Location: Mill Ave., Tempe from ASU Gammage to Tempe Beach Park
Hours: 10 a.m. on Monday, November 11th, 2019
The city of Surprise hosts its annual parade with marching bands, patriotic groups and more. Before the parade, treat yourself to a pancake breakfast catered by Nick’s Diner.
Location: Begins at Surprise Recreation Campus, 15960 N. Bullard Avenue
Hours: 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. pancake breakfast; 9:30 a.m. parade on Friday, November 11
Cost: Free for parade; $4 pancake breakfast
Honor American veterans with a 70-minute ceremony that features decorated veterans as speakers, live musical performance and a four-plane F-16 flyover from Luke Air Force Base that coincides with the memorial’s 11:11 a.m. solar spotlight. A special tribute will go to veterans of the Gulf War.
Location: Anthem Veterans Memorial, 41703 N. Gavilan Peak Pkwy., Anthem, AZ 85086
Hours: 8 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. pancake breakfast; 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ceremony on Monday, November 11th, 2019
Cost: Free for ceremony
Visit the city of Gilbert as it honors veterans with a presentation of colors, patriotic music from local schools, a guest veteran speaker, and free food and refreshments courtesy of local restaurants.
Location: Civic Center Campus, 50 E. Civic Center Drive, Gilbert, AZ
Hours: 11 a.m. on Thursday, November 7th, 2019
A complimentary BBQ kicks of this tribute to our veterans. There will be a ceremony featuring military displays and public performances, a keynote speaker and an interactive flag garden.
Location: Goodyear Ballpark, 1933 S. Ballpark Way, Goodyear
Hours: 2 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Monday, November 11th, 2019