Organizers Overcome Obstacles To Plan Safe Veteran’s Day Parade In Pandemic

Wednesday, October 21st 2020, 5:33 pm
By: Sawyer Buccy

TULSA, Okla. -

Tulsa’s Veteran Day Parade is on and a team of people have been working for almost a year to make sure thousands of people can safely take part in this year’s parade.

Organizers said the turn out this year is surprisingly high, despite the pandemic and they are trying to give people as many options as possible to take part in the celebrations that day.

The organizers of the Veteran's Day Parade are no stranger to obstacles.

"It is funny because I kind of feel like we are uber prepared for this chaotic year because the last two years we have had insane weather and no turn out,” Fundraising Chair Chelsea Clark said. “We are prepared for round three of the madness.”

They have marched in freezing weather, in rain, in heat and this year they will be marching in the middle of a pandemic.

"It really wasn't an option for us not to do the parade. We just have to figure out how to adapt and overcome," Veterans Day Parade Committee President Josh Starks said.

The planning committee started prepping for this year's celebration in December of 2019 and they meet once a month. 

“None of us get paid to do this. This is all volunteer work," said Starks.

As the team prepares, their biggest concern is safety. They want people to have options to watch at home or online and to feel safe if they want to come in person.

"In this year with the pandemic, to get our veterans out of isolation, in a safe controlled way and get them around their brothers and sisters again," said Josh, "We can socially distance, we can wear our masks."

Organizers said they already have about 2,100 people signed up to march, including groups like Jeepers Anonymous.

“We just love it. Our group is a group of Jeepers but part of what we do is things for Tulsa and the Green Country area," said Jeepers Anonymous President Tom Gutmann.

There are also people who will be marching for the first time.

“Our Oklahoma National Guard have stepped in, many, many of them combat veterans, of Iraq and Afghanistan and they are coming down to march in the parade for the first time," said Sparks.

"We want to make sure everyone feels safe and comfortable,” Clark said. “We want all of our veterans to feel honored and to feel loved.”