In recognition of local veterans, dozens of units will take part Sunday in
the annual Veterans Day parade, which runs along Southeast 47th Terrace.
Hosted by the city of Cape Coral and organized by the Sons of Italy, Charles
J. Bonapart Lodge No. 2504, the parade takes place at 3 p.m. Staging begins
at 2 p.m. The route will run east to west, from Ninth Place to 15th Avenue.
Linda Biondi, an organizer, said the event lasts one to two hours.
"The parade is tremendous," she said. "Come out with your patriotism, bring
a little flag with you and celebrate our veterans."
There are about 50 to 60 units, the same as in previous years.
"We have 900 ROTC kids from every high school in Lee County," Biondi said.
"Every school, every year - it's fantastic."
The grand marshal this year is Kelsey Stewart, a Korean War veteran and
retired Navy man. The event recognizes one group of veterans every year.
"This year, we're celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Korean War," she
said. "So, we chose a Korean War veteran to be the grand marshal."
In 2011, World War II veterans were honored. Vietnam veterans are next.
Biondi explained that other Korean veterans will be participating, riding in
cars owned by the Hot Chili Riders, Corvette Club and Caloosa Jeepers.
"Besides the veterans in the parade, you're going to see a lot of classic
and antique cars," she said.
The Ida S. Baker High School and North Fort Myers High School marching bands
will be performing. Floats in the parade will come from various groups and
businesses, like the Shriners, Girl Scouts, Dixie Roadhouse and more.
The Lee County Port Authority has entered its fire truck, while the Lee
County Sheriff's Office and Cape police and fire units will be present.
The mayor and council members are expected to participate.
"Thousands of people line the parade route, and they all honor our veterans,
which is a good thing," Biondi said.
Attendees are welcome to bring chairs.
"It's going to be a beautiful day," she said.
Free parking is available in the Big John's parking lot, Iguana Mia parking
lot and at Club Square. Biondi warned visitors to watch for tow away signs.
"Be careful where you park," she said.