Briana Heaney Published

Welch To Host The Oldest Continually Running Veterans Day Parade In The Nation

American flags are waved during a Veterans Day parade.Cheryl Casey/Adobe Stock

The city of Welch will be hosting its 105th Veterans Day parade. The small town of 3,590 people is home to the longest continually running Veterans Day parade in the nation on Saturday, Nov. 11.

Frank Cooley, event organizer and general chairman of the American Legion McDowell County Post 8, said this parade exemplifies the patriotism of his community. 

“Our little small town is not nothing like it used to be. We don’t have wall-to-wall people,” Cooley said. “But I can assure you, the people that are there today are the most patriotic in this country. They come out every year, braving the weather, the coldness, whatever it might be, to celebrate the occasion that we honor our men and women who have served and are still serving this great nation.”

The parade begins at the Welch City Hall and Fire Department and will head down Wyoming Street and back up McDowell Street. There will be awards for best float, best band and best youth group. Cooley said it takes an intense, coordinated effort to put on this parade. 

“The city of Welch bends over backwards to do whatever they can to help make the Veterans Day parade the greatest one of all,” he said. 

Cooley advises attendees to arrive early to find parking and walk to the parade. Individuals with disabilities are advised to arrive extra early so they can find a spot. Cooley said there are some spots where attendees can watch the parade from their vehicle. 

“There’s places that you can just pull your automobile up and sit in your seat and watch as it goes by,” Cooley said. 

Attendees are encouraged to visit the Jack Caffrey Arts and Cultural Center where there will be a Veterans Honor display from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.