MANATEE -- Manatee County's primary Veterans Day observance begins at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11, starting with a parade at Manatee County Fairgrounds, 1402 14th Ave. W,, Palmetto. The parade will proceed down 10th Avenue to Sutton and Lamb parks at Sixth Street West, where there will be a service at 11 a.m.
Highlights include keynote speaker, retired Brig. Gen. Rich Blunt, and guest speakers U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, and Rep. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton. Don Courtney, president of the Manatee County Veterans Council, will present the Veteran of the Year Award to Brig. Gen. Jerry Neff and the Auxiliary Member of the Year Award to Frances Dewart. Dewart is a 24-year member of the Kirby Stewart American Legion Post 24 Auxiliary, where she has served as president, said Bob Greene.
Grand marshal of the parade will be Air Force veteran Jody Britt. Korean War Veterans Chapter 199 will present the colors.
Also planned in honor of veterans:
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Support our Wounded Warriors: 11:45 a.m. Saturday at Mixon Fruit Farm, 2525 27th St. E., Bradenton.
The Semper Fi group and their families will be riding the Orange Blossom Express Tram Tour at noon. The public is invited to show their support for wounded warriors who are back home from Iraq and Afghanistan by lining up along the tram route and waving the Stars and Stripes. The honorees will have lunch after the tram tour.
Suncoast Concert Band concert: 3 p.m. Sunday at Northminster Presbyterian Church, 3131 61st St., Sarasota. Musical selections to be performed include "American Heritage Overture," "Fugue on Yankee Doodle," "Arlington (Where Giants Lie Sleeping)" and more. Admission will be $5. Information and tickets: 941-907-4123.
Veterans' Tribute Service: Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, 7461 Prospect Road, in southern Manatee County, at 10:30 a.m. Sunday with featured speaker the Rev. Jonathan Frusti. He was a former U.S. Navy chaplain and is a senior pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in Winter Haven. The patriotic service will honor current and past armed-service personnel.
Braden River Middle School observance: Superintendent Rick Mills will be the featured speaker at 9:25 a.m. Monday. The ceremony also will include musical performances and the unveiling of this year's artwork for the Veterans' Wall of Honor. Information: Assistant Principal Roy Shaw at 751-7080, ext. 2013.
Veterans at Palmetto Elementary: The Palmetto Elementary fifth-grade chorus will perform and the Palmetto High School color guard and Junior ROTC will participate when Palmetto Elementary celebrates Veterans Day at 9 a.m. Monday. Local veterans are invited to attend this special ceremony. Information: 941-723-4822.
Free pancake breakfast for vets and military personnel: All Bob Evans restaurants will serve free all-you-can-eat hotcakes to veterans and active duty military members who present a valid military ID or proof of service on Nov. 11. Information: www.BobEvans.com.
Free car wash for veterans and military personnel: Nov. 11, at Clear Sunset Car Wash, 6415 State Road 64 E. Information: 941-746-9274.
Let Freedom Ring Ceremony: Freedom Elementary School. Student speakers, special music and the raising of flags representing the armed forces, POW/MIAs and first-responders are set for 9 a.m. Nov. 12.
Jewish veterans service: Congregation Ner Tamid, 4802B 26th St. W., Bradenton, pays tribute to Jewish veterans at a service 7:55 p.m. Nov. 14. Guest speaker will be Lt. Col. Carol Barkalow, one of West Point’s first female cadets and now director of Heaven on Earth for Vets, a not for profit group to help vets obtain housing. RSVP: 941-755-1231.
Rice's Appliance & TV, 6430 14th St. W., Bradenton, will host a barbecue with the Marine Corps League from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 15, for disabled American veterans and families. The day also kicks off Rice's Toys for Tots drive. Information: 896-8896.
Veterans Legacy Summit: Leaders from across the nation will converge in Sarasota during the summit, a multi-day conference designed and hosted by the Patterson Foundation to build cross-sector connections benefitting veterans and military families. The conference will take place Nov. 14-15.