Lufkin Veteran's Day Parade organizers and city respond to parad - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Lufkin Veteran's Day Parade organizers and city respond to parade controversy

Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -

The annual Veteran's Day parade is very special to several in Lufkin.

It's not a big parade, it's not the Philadelphia level, but it's still a local parade,” said Greg Thames of the Lufkin American Legion. “Local people showing their patriotism and the respect for the veterans that have passed and the ones that are still here."

However, for the first time in 15 years, the parade will not be held in Lufkin. Organizers said the city wanted to combine it with the Christmas parade this year, to which they objected.

"Well, being that it's a Veteran's day, I don't think it's nice to mix it with commercial ventures and those types of things," Thames said.

Organizers said they then tried to set something up in the parking lot and amphitheater of the Pitser-Garrison Convention Center, but the city wanted to charge them $550.

The city said this isn't the reason they can't have the parade at that location.

"I think there was some miscommunication,” Lufkin Assistant City Manager Steve Floyd said. “The day of the proposed parade, there are two events going on and the parking lot is going to be full. We did offer the Veteran's Day Parade the back parking lot to host their ceremony.

The city also explained the reason behind the fee.

"That area was just an open public area before that, and after the construction, it is now a real nice plaza with an amphitheater,” Floyd said. “It's no different than a room inside the convention theater. If you want to use it, you have to rent it and that is by resolution of the city council."

Organizers found a solution, however, and will join Huntington's Veteran’s Day Parade, for which they are grateful.

"It makes my heart swell up because people still realize what Veteran's Day is, a lot of people nowadays have basically forgotten,” Thames said.

The city, however, said they do respect and honor their local veterans and hope to work out the issue in the future.

“We certainly hate to not see them host their parade in Lufkin that they've done for so many years and we hope we can resolve this and that we can have them back here next year,” said Floyd.

If you are interested in learning about what services the Lufkin chapter of the National League provides for veterans, you can visit their website at http://centennial.legion.org/texas/post113.

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