October 13, 2018 10:03:55 PM
"Honoring Our Veterans" is the theme of a Veterans Day parade set to take place in Starkville Saturday, Nov. 10 at 10 a.m. The parade is hosted by KMG Creations Dance, Fitness and Productions in Starkville.
A musical tribute at 11 a.m. on the steps of the Oktibbeha County Courthouse will follow the parade, with the Starkville High School JROTC presenting service flags, poetry by the band, The Kayla Marie Project, singer/songwriter Rebekah Farley and other guests. Lawn chairs are encouraged.
Kayla Marie Gilmore, owner of KMG Creations, has hosted an annual military appreciation dance recital honoring local veterans for the past nine years. Gilmore visited the veterans in local nursing homes, distributing small gift bags. This year she wanted to do something different.
"This is exciting, to host our city's first Veterans Day parade. This is history," said Gilmore. "Having special events for our veterans has been something close to my heart for many years. My brother is a veteran and served this country proudly. These men and women and their families have made great personal sacrifices to protect this country."
Nov. 11 marks the 100-year anniversary of the end of World War I, which Gilmore said makes this Veterans Day Parade even more special.
Along with events such as Starkville High School's Veterans Day program Nov. 9 at 9:30 a.m., and a salute to veterans from businesses, the parade shows the community's appreciation for all veterans. They also are reminders to families of area National Guard members currently deployed, said Gilmore.
The parade will begin at the Oktibbeha County Courthouse on Main Street and turn right on South Montgomery, Lampkin and Meig Streets before ending at the courthouse.
Deadline to submit participation applications, either by email or postmarked, is Saturday, Oct. 20 by 5 p.m. A limit of 25 groups will be selected this year. Late entries will not be accepted. To participate or volunteer, contact Gilmore at [email protected] or kmgcreationsdfp.com. Or call 662-648-7382. Find more information at Facebook.comKMGcreations.
The City of Starkville, Starkville Police Department, Greater Starkville Development Partnership, the Military Affairs Committee and Mississippi State University Center for America's Veterans have been helpful in planning this event, Gilmore said.
"This is not my parade, it is our parade," she remarked. "I have accepted my calling to be a trailblazer. It is all about bringing the community together."