Fresno Veterans Day Parade now largest in the nation

FRESNO, Calif. - Preparations are underway, for the 98th Annual Fresno Veterans Day Parade. It kicks off on Saturday, Nov. 11, at 11:11 a.m., pre ceremonies start at 10 a.m.

YourCentralValley's anchor Alex Delgado will host.

Event organizers say this year will be the largest veteran's parade in the entire country with more than 4,000 people participating.

The three and a half hour parade will start in front of Fresno City Hall and will continue down Tulare Street.

Every year the parade honor's a military branch, this year it's the U.S. Army and nearly 100 soldiers will ride and walk along side army vehicles.

"We'll have these in the parade and have a couple of troops on them," Staff Sgt. Amber MacMillan with the U.S. Army, said.

Macmillan and her fellow soldiers are gearing up for the parade. She says this year it's extra special because the army will be honored.

"It's good to feel that comradery and see the community that they support you and they appreciate you," MacMillan said.

Parade organizers said that's what this event is all about.

They say California has the largest concentration of veterans of any other state in the U.S., and the Central Valley is the area with the largest veteran population in the state.

"I think it's the least we can do for our veterans and bring awareness to our community," Daniel Payne, CEO of Fresno Veterans Day parade, said.

Payne said this year is one you won't want to miss.

"We have heavy hitters in every division so that's important for people to stick around and watch it," Payne said.

Another fun addition, a Black Hawk helicopter, will be at Chukchansi Park for folks of all ages to climb inside and check out.

"The army is really stepping up, and it's going to be really exciting all the stuff they're bring out," Payne said.

Payne said with more than 20,000 people attending and nearly 70 million watching worldwide, safety is key.

"We have people strategically placed throughout the parade route," Payne said.

MacMillan said it's a event meant to celebrate past and present members of the Armed Forces.

"It's very special, you know honoring your country and really proud to wear this uniform," MacMillan said.

Organizers said parking around the parade is free and suggest arriving early.

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