Petaluma honors veterans in grand style on Tuesday, Nov. 11

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It’s time once again to honor our military veterans.

The North Bay Veterans Day Parade steps off at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11, in downtown Petaluma.

According to parade organizer Steve Kemmerle, this year’s parade promises to be “the biggest and best ever.”

The parade grand marshals are World War II veterans: Clint Grove, U.S. Navy-Pacific, Charles Matteri, U.S. Army-Alaska, Frank Castellucci, U.S. Army-Europe and Louis Raffi, U.S. Navy-Pacific. Another World War II veteran, William Rose, U.S. Army-Europe, will follow the grand marshals in the parade lineup.

In 1986, Julius Forcucci, World War I U.S. Army veteran, walked Petaluma Boulevard by himself during the Veterans Day parade. The following year, 50 people marched with him, and the parade as we know it was born. The Forcucci Family is having a reunion and will be in the parade with the Forcucci Float.

Canine Companions for Independence will showcase 100 veterans using their dogs. They will be in the parade along with members from Paw4Purplehearts, another group that helps Veterans adjust after combat.

A number of Corvettes from local car club will be escorting 20 to 23 veterans, pilots, an original Rosie the Riveter and the Calendar Girls of Santa Rosa.

The Native Americans will be back with dancers, singers, a 32 Ford Pheaton, a Redwood Canoe and many other veterans.

“There are at least 50 military related groups entered,” said Kimmerle. “Overhead will be the Huey helicopter, Bay Bomber Squadron planes and hopefully other aircraft. Among the military vehicles will be a M41 Walker Bulldog tank. Three motorcycle clubs should participate.”

This year, Sonoma County Transit has entered a bus, which will carry Military Order of the Purple Heart veterans. Sonoma county is giving free rides to all veterans and college students with proper identification in 2015.

“At the end of the parade will be a big surprise,” added Kimmerle.

After the parade, around 2:45 p.m., there will be a ceremony in Walnut Park. Keynote speaker will be Capt. Charles Fosse, commander of the Two Rock Coast Guard Station. Petaluma’s Col. Jack Krout’s granddaughter will sing the “Star Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America.”

VETERANS DAY PARADE STREET CLOSURES

The annual Veterans Day Parade takes place on Tuesday, Nov. 11 n the Petaluma downtown area. This is a major family oriented event attended by several thousand people. This event requires the closure of multiple streets downtown. People attending the event are encouraged to arrive early and carpool to the downtown area. The parade begins at 1 p.m., but because of other events, road closures in some areas will start at 5 a.m.

No alcohol may be brought to this event and public consumption of alcohol will not be allowed. Violations of alcohol related laws will be strictly enforced.

Road closures and approximate times:

• Petaluma Boulevard between Washington Street and D Street, from noon to 3 p.m.

• Kentucky Street between B Street and Washington Street, from noon to 3 p.m.

• Fourth Street between I Street and B Street, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• B Street between Petaluma Boulevard and Fifth Street, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• C Street between Petaluma Boulevard and Fifth Street, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• D Street between Second Street and Sixth Street, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• E Street between Petaluma Boulevard and Fifth Street, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Water Street between Washington St. and Petaluma Boulevard, from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Washington Street between Keller Street and Petaluma from, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Western Avenue between Petaluma Boulevard and Keller Street, from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m.

• E, F, G and H Streets between Petaluma Blvd. and Fifth Street, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information, visit petalumaveteranspar ade.com.

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