HOLTVILLE — Hundreds of people eager to honor and pay tribute to our U.S. veterans and active duty members gathered in Holtville Friday for the Third Annual Imperial Valley Veterans Day Parade and festivities hosted by the city of Holtville and the American Legion and Auxiliary – Bradley Keffer Post 138.
American flags waved up and down Fifth Street as the procession of floats, marching bands, drill teams, and military vehicles marched from Walnut Street to Pine Avenue.
“This is my third time participating in the parade. I’m glad that we get a chance to show off our new uniforms,” said Abigail Garewal (13), the drum major of Holtville Middle School band.
“Even though the quads weigh 45 pounds, I’m just happy to play and have fun in front of all these people,” added her brother, quad player Jared Garewal (12).
The Holtville Car Club also took part in the celebration bringing out shiny classic 1960s Chevys.
“We are out here honor the veterans,” said Jorge Padilla, a member of the Holtville Car Club. “It’s important what they’ve for our country by fighting for our freedom. I think they all deserve recognition. That’s why we support this parade every year.”
At Holt Park, parade goers enjoyed the various food and craft booths while Megan Strahm and the True Blues Band provided live patriotic music.
A beer garden and lunch plates were also available and supplied byFraternal Order of Eagles Aerie #1559 of El Centro.
“I come to support my fellow veterans and active duty members. The recognition for us is much better now than in Vietnam era. We were despised back then,” said Charlie, a U.S Navy veteran who served from 1967-1977.
The local Blue Knights division, an international law enforcement motorcycle club with chapters all over the country, was invited to show off their hogs and sports bikes.
“It’s wonderful to see the community coming together and the nice booths that everybody has,” said Susie Herrera, a Blue Knights member. “This parade is an overall good opportunity to honor those people that have sacrificed for our country. It’s something that we should pretty much do every day.”