San Antonio will salute and celebrate all branches of the Armed Forces by hosting the iaugural “Here's to Our Heroes” military river parade May 19, National Armed Forces Day.
In honor of the men and women of the Armed Forces and local military installations employing 90,000, the Paseo del Rio Association and the city of San Antonio are introducing the parade, the nation's first event of its kind taking place along the San Antonio River Walk.
“What better way to celebrate Armed Forces Day than to come together as a local and national community at the heart of one of America's most popular attractions, the San Antonio River Walk, for a historic military river parade?” says San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro. “Our community's respect, pride and love of country, combined with the tremendous presence of our military, embodies why San Antonio is Military City USA.”
The “Here's to Our Heroes” military river parade will start with an opening ceremony at the Arneson River Theater. The parade will feature 25 decorated floats themed according to their participants, and will include all branches of the military, veterans and military support groups.
As a special tribute to the Armed Forces, the city of San Antonio will dye the river blue for the parade. The River Walk parade route will also be decorated with yellow ribbons, purchased by the community in honor or memory of those who serve, or have served our country.
Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, senior commander of Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston and the commander of U.S. Army North (Fifth Army) will serve as the grand marshal for the parade. The National Anthem will be performed by Angie Johnson (“The Voice”), accompanied by Tops In Blue, an all-active duty U.S. Air Force special unit comprised of talented performers selected for their entertainment abilities.
Adding to the significance of the event, the River Walk which runs through the heart of the city was designed by Robert H. H. Hugman – a former employee at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio.
The celebration will end with a free concert hosted by Operation Homefront, a national non-profit organization dedicated to providing emergency financial assistance to military members and their families. The concert will take place in Hemisfair Park in front of the Institute of Texan Cultures.
The “Here's to Our Heroes” military river parade is free to view from the patios and balconies of River Walk businesses or from the banks of the San Antonio River Walk. Reserved seating is available for purchase at the Arneson River Theatre ($15), along the extension of the River Walk (near the Chamber of Commerce Building, $10) and the Rivercenter Mall lagoon ($10).
For more information, visit www.thesanantonioriverwalk.com.
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