Preparations are underway for Chattanooga’s 64th Armed Forces Day Parade and Luncheon set for Friday, May 3. Sponsored by the Chattanooga Area Veterans Council (CAVC) the annual celebration honors military service members currently on active duty and/or serving in the reserves. Each year a different service is featured with the U.S. Coast Guard being in the spotlight this year.
The all-volunteer Armed Forces Day (AFD) Celebration Committee, which is composed of CAVC members as well as other individuals from area communities, begins planning the parade as soon as the previous parade is completed. After six decades, some of the parade pieces fall into place without much effort, according to Patty Parks of Ooltewah and Chair-Elect for the CAVC.
“However, coordinating service bands, prominent guest speakers, parade participants and the parade-opening flyovers requires a lot of work by many people,” she said. Ms. Parks first joined the parade committee in 1997 while stationed at the Navy & Marine Corps Reserve Center (now Navy Operational Support Center) in Chattanooga, and served as the committee’s military co-chair in 2005.
“We always welcome new ideas and new committee members,” she said, adding, “The only prerequisite is to care about our men and women in uniform.”
The parade begins at 10:30 a.m. at MLK Boulevard and proceeds up Market Street to Second Street. Individuals or groups interested in participating in the parade may contact the participation coordinator Bill Norton at 870-5558. The parade is followed by a noon luncheon at the Chattanooga Convention Center. Anyone interested in attending the luncheon may contact the luncheon coordinator Noah Long at 886-3820.