ALPHARETTA, Ga. – The American Legion Post 201 and the city of Alpharetta will present the 60th annual Old Soldiers Day Parade Saturday morning, Aug. 4. Well more than a hundred floats, bands, organizations, vehicles and horses will participate in the annual tradition.
Parade Chairman Bob Votta said there is every indication this will be the best parade yet.
“Just like we do every year, the post has been working on the parade for almost a year. We hope to make a great experience for the people who come out and for the people who participate,” Votta said.
The event begins with patriotic music at 9:15 a.m. followed by a memorial service at 10 a.m. on Main Street in front of City Hall. The parade kicks off promptly at 10:30 a.m., going down Main Street, turning left onto Milton Avenue and ending at the American Legion Post 201 on Wills Road for free hotdogs from The Varsity and activities for the young and old.
This year, the parade viewing area has been extended to Milton Avenue. To view the parade, bring a chair or a blanket along Milton Avenue – or find a place along South Main Street/Ga. 9 for the parade, band and reviewing stand.
Post-parade festivities continue at the American Legion Post 201 at 201 Wills Road, on the corner of Old Milton Parkway.
The Old Soldiers Day Parade began shortly after the end of the Civil War, when old veterans would meet and camp just outside of Alpharetta. It was always the first Saturday in August, because that was the “laying by” time when the crops were planted and harvest yet to come.
As the years passed, the veterans shortened the stay until there was only the parade. The last veterans walked about the time a new crop of veterans were coming home from World War I, and the Old Soldiers Day parade lapsed.
Then in 1952, the newly formed American Legion Post 201 started the tradition anew to honor all veterans of all wars. The first parade consisted of following the fire truck and circling City Hall twice.
But as participation grew, the people wanted a full-fledged parade down Main Street. Today, it is a cherished tradition that will again step off for the 60th year of a renewed celebration.
The Old Soldiers Day 10K and 5K Race will begin at 7 a.m. at the Wills Park pool. Call 678-297-6160 for information or to register.