Bill Graham of the Wayne County Veterans and Patriots Coalition sees a lot of enthusiasm from the public for the return of the annual Veterans Day parade.
The parade has attracted 30 entrants so far, and Graham, CEO of the coalition, is hoping for more.
“We’re hitting all the positive notes on it to get it going,” Graham said.
After missing a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the parade will return Nov. 11 to downtown Goldsboro. The parade will begin at 11 a.m. at a reviewing platform outside Direct Carpet on Center Street. From there, it will proceed south to Pine Street, then return to the reviewing stand.
Bob Murphy, president of the Veterans and Patriots Coalition, will call out the units in the parade lineup as they pass the reviewing stand.
Graham said he is encouraged by the pace of entrants. The response has been good so far mostly from word of mouth, he said.
One of the entrants is On the Rocks, an off-road Jeep club. That one unit consists of 17 Jeeps, Graham said.
There is no fee to participate in the parade.
“All they have to do is show some sort of patriotic display,” Graham said. “It can be as simple as a flag on a car or a bicycle or a motorcycle.”
Goldsboro has had a Veterans Day parade every year since 1972, until last year, Graham said. In 2019, the parade featured around 92 units.
The number of units that have signed up so far this year is off from those in the 2019 parade, but Graham is hoping to generate more. He said it’s not unusual for applications to increase closer to the day of the parade.
The deadline for applications is Nov. 8.
Entrants can include churches, businesses, organizations or individuals, “anybody and everybody who would like to participate in it,” Graham said.
Applications are available at the Wayne County Veterans Services Office, 2001 E. Ash St., Goldsboro. Applications also can be found at the Wayne County government website, waynegov.com. Click on “Departments,” then “Veterans Services,” then “Veterans Day Parade.” People can print out the application, fill it out, and take it to the Veterans Services Office.
Anyone with questions can call Graham at 919-394-2200; Murphy at 919-922-5093; or the Veterans Services Office at 919-731-1490.