A gala Veterans Day parade will highlight holiday festivities beginning at 11:11 a.m. Monday at Locust and School streets.
Although the actual Veterans Day holiday is Sunday, the parade will be held Monday, primarily at the request of several Lodi ministers, said parade chairwoman Cynthia Haynes, Lodi's community promotions coordinator.
Ministers said they don't want people attending a Sunday parade when they should be in church instead, Haynes said.
Grand marshals will be Capt. Mary E. Galvan of the U.S. Army Corps and Phillip Jolly, an Army veteran and prisoner of war from the Korean conflict.
Lodi Mayor Alan Nakanishi, a U.S. Army major from 1969 to 1972, and California Secretary of State Bill Jones will be honorary grand marshals.
A special guest will be Master Sgt. Eric Sandvick, who just completed flying 24 missions in Afghanistan. Sandvick is presently home on leave from the 70th Air Refueling Squadron, 349th Air Mobility Wing, at Travis Air Force Base.
More than 50 entries are expected, and the marching bands from Lodi, Tokay, Bear Creek and Galt high schools will perform. The American Steel Car Club and PT Cruiser Club will also participate.
A last-minute entry is the American Civil War Association, where participants will wear Civil War uniforms and bring an 1840 cannon actually used in the Civil War, Haynes said.
The parade will be held rain or shine.
"It may rain on Monday, but it's not going to rain on our parade," Haynes said.
The parade will end with a 21-gun salute.
Pre-parade activities will begin at 10:30 a.m. at Post Office Square at School and Oak streets. Sandvick will perform several veterans' songs and lead a community sing-along of "God Bless America."
Also at 10:30, 250 Boy Scouts from the Greater '49er District of the Greater Yosemite Council will hand out 2,500 free American flags and red, white and blue balloons throughout the parade route.
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