A Variety of Veterans Day Events for the Family

Honor all members of the U.S. Armed Forces and your interpretation of the freedom they give us on Saturday, November 11 by participating in one of Portland’s many fun holiday events. We’ve rounded up everything from runs to parades to volunteer activities and more. Read on for all of the best celebrations and remembrances are for patriots of all ages.

photo: Zachary Long via flickr

A Race To Remember – Veterans Day Race 2017
Grab your little speed racer and get ready for great seasonal run. The name of this race and a military non profit were founded in Vancouver in 2009 by Claudia Cardenas in honor of her late fiance Jason Vinyard who was a 20-year Army Veteran stationed in Fort Vancouver WA at the time of his passing. It reminds communities to never forget everything that our brave men and women of the military and their families do to continue to protect our freedom. There are several different courses for all ages and abilities. Your youngest athlete will love the little hero race. Check out the course maps for the 1K, 5k and 11K online.

Pricing: $25 for Little Heroes, 1K—Individual Age group/open to $55

Sat Nov. 1`1 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Fort Vancouver National Park
1501 E Evergreen Blvd 

Vancouver, WA  98661
Online: active.com

Oregon Zoo
Thankful to everyone who has served our country as well as the families who support them, the Oregon Zoo offers free admission for veterans, active military personnel and any accompanying family members or family members of deployed military personnel. These guests, who are asked to supply official military identification, will also receive 10% discount at the zoo shop and at all food and beverage locations. The Portland Japanese Garden will also give free admission to veterans and active military personnel who show official military identification. Check out today at the zoo to see what’s happening on Veterans Day.

Nov. 11, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
4001 SW Canyon Rd.
Online: oregonzoo.org


Ross Hollywood 43rd Annual Veteran’s Day Parade
If you are in the Portland Metro area grab the kids and head on down to the Hollywood District for the 43rd Annual Ross Hollywood Veteran’s Day Parade. For the last 42 years the Ross Hollywood Chapel Veterans Day Parade has been the Portland Veterans Day tradition welcoming people of all ages! This annual parade honors veterans past and present with participation from military groups, school marching bands, motorcyclists, politicians, and bagpipers from across the region. Young airplane enthusiasts might enjoy the Oregon Air National Guard Fighter Wing Flyover!

If you are looking to make a special contribution this year you can apply to participate in the parade or lend a hand as a volunteer.

Street parking is available throughout the Hollywood District however carpooling, using public transportation, or biking is recommended.

Starts at NE 40th and NE Tillamook and continues along NE 40th turning East onto NE Sandy Blvd
Ends at 48th and Sandy Blvd at the flag pole in front of Ross Hollywood Chapel Click here for full parade route.
Sat Nov. 11, 9:30 a.m. to Noon.

Hollywood District Portland, Or
Online: veteransdaypdx.org

Florence Veteran’s Day Parade
This parade is 100% volunteer based! It’s Florence’s way of saying “Thank-You” to all the veterans and active duty military for the sacrifices they have made and are continuing to make to ensure our freedoms. This small town celebration is a perfect opportunity for the family to give back. Find out how you can contribute here.

Starts at Quince St & Harbor St
Ends at Bay St. & Juniper
Sat Nov. 11, 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Historic Old Town Florence, Or
Online: florencechamber.com/event/veterans-day-parade/

photo: Cyndy Sims Parr via flickr

66th Annual Albany Veteran’s Day Parade
The theme for Albany’s 66th annual Veteran’s Day Parade is Honoring our Women.  The Albany community prides themselves in putting together the Largest Veteran’s Day Parade West of the Mississippi! With over 40,000 spectators expected it’s recommended to show up early,  grab a hot apple cider or hot chocolate with the family at a local shop, and then find a good spot! The Patriot Guard Riders will kick things off! These include veterans of all eras, Gold Star Families, recently returning soldiers, those riding for a veteran or those who ride to show their support. Find some mini flags and cheer them on! You can also expect to see youth groups, school marching bands, horses, and large crowds!

Starts at 7th Ave SE and Pacific Blvd. marching over the overpass and veering Right into the historical Downtown Albany district via Lyon Ave. Click here for full parade route.
Sat Nov. 11, 11 a.m.

Historic Downtown Albany, Or
Online: albanyveteransdayparade.org

8th Annual Klamath Falls Freedom Parade
The Celebration Series at Klamath Falls is set to honor all active and non-active Military, Police, Firemen and Women who have served this Country, as well as their families, their community, and everyone else who share the sacrifice with them. If you want to get involved there’s still time. This small town celebration is a great chance for you and the family to thank a Veteran!

Starts at Spring Street and continues along Main Street
Ends at the Veteran’s Memorial Park
Sat Nov. 11, 10 a.m.

Downtown Klamath Falls, Or
Online: klamathfc.org                                                                                

Bend’s Veteran’s Day Parade
Bend’s Annual Veteran’s Day Parade is one of the largest Veteran’s Day parades in Oregon. With more than 120 organizations participating Bend is expecting thousands of spectators to line the streets of downtown. Bundle up, bring the mini flags, buy the family a round of hot chocolates at Looney Bean, and celebrate with the community!

Starts at Veterans Memorial Bridge
Ends at NW Harmon Blvd. Click here for full parade route.
Sat Nov. 11, 11 a.m.

Downtown Bend, Or.
Online: downtownbend.org/events/veterans-day-parade/

photo: Howard County Library via flickr

Lough Legacy Veteran’s Day Parade at Fort Vancouver
Lough Legacy Veterans Parade is one of the largest parades sanctioned by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on the west coast. You can expect this parade to attract more than 120 entries, with over 2,000 participants marching or riding in the parade. There’s a new route to include more of downtown Vancouver this year. Don’t forget to find out if your local Girl or Boy Scouts Troop are participating in this year’s celebration!

Starts at Fort Vancouver National Site at Evergreen Blvd and East Reserve St
Ends at the Providence Academy
Sat Nov. 11, 11 a.m.

Vancouver, WA
Online: thehistorictrust.org

Donate or Get Involved
Support local veterans past November 11 by donating your money and or your time! Consider making a donation to the Returning Veterans Project,they offer free counseling and health services to post-9/11 veterans in Oregon and Washington, or to the Portland VA Fisher House, which provides a home away from home for families of hospitalized veterans. Or think about helping your kids or their classes, clubs or sports teams launch a Wounded Warrior Project Student Ambassadors fundraising campaign to help support free services for wounded veterans, their families and their caregivers.

Know of another event or way to honor our veterans? Let us know in the comments below!

— Kris Wilhelmy


— Elissa Cirignotta