Ottawa’s annual Veterans Day celebration kicks off today (Saturday) with a variety of activities, including the annual parade.
The event observes the federal holiday, formerly known as Armistice Day, on Nov. 11 — the anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I in 1918. The federal legal holiday was formerly observed on the fourth Monday in October during the mid-1970s but reverted to Nov. 11 in 1978.
Veterans Day activities begin at 9 a.m. with a ceremony at Fourth and Main streets in downtown Ottawa. The parade follows at 10:45 a.m., followed by ceremonies at Fourth and Main streets and a fly-over. Veterans can also take advantage of free coffee and doughnuts downtown at 10:30 a.m.
In the afternoon, Veterans Day activities move to Forest Park, with several re-enactments and demonstrations planned. Among those are military vehicles and other displays open to the public from noon-4 p.m. A mountain men demonstration is scheduled from 1-2 p.m., followed by a prelude to World War II from 2-2:15 p.m. A World War II re-enactment takes place from 2:15-3 p.m. followed by a prelude to the Civil War at 3 p.m.
Also featured will be the Crooked River Posse, from 3:15-3:30 p.m. and 4:15-4:30 p.m., and a Civil War firing demonstration and a potential skirmish from 3:30-4:15 p.m. Boy Scout Troop 77 will conduct a flag retirement ceremony from 4:30-6 p.m.