Several events coming up over the next few days are focused firmly on local veterans, honoring their sacrifice and service.
Veterans Day is Saturday, Nov. 11 and along with special activities in the community that day, a program at Escalon High School scheduled for Thursday will begin the observance.
Any veterans or current military personnel in the community that are interested in being recognized in the upcoming Escalon High School Veterans Day Rally on Thursday, Nov. 9 are asked to rsvp via email to: Amanda Rickman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Thursday rally is scheduled from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the new gym at Escalon High and will include a special program coordinated by members of the Associated Student Body. All area veterans and active military are invited to attend the presentation. The rally is being hosted on Thursday, as Friday is a day off from school in observance of the Veterans Day holiday.
On Veterans Day itself, all veterans are invited to get a free meal at Hula’s Restaurant on Jackson Avenue, anytime during regular business hours, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday.
Owner Tony Victorino – who spent four years in the U.S. Coast Guard – said this will be the second year he has featured the free meals and last year about 50 veterans took advantage of the offer. The invitation is open to veterans throughout the area, not just Escalon, he said.
“We’re not requiring ID,” Victorino added.
The community will also gather on Saturday for the traditional parade and ceremonies, with the parade downtown and ceremonies at the city’s Community Center.
Escalon American Legion Gustafson-Thompson Post and the American Legion Riders will host the events. The day will begin with the parade stepping off at 10:30 a.m., followed by the Memorial Service at the Memorial Wall adjacent to the Community Center. The downtown parade lines up on Coley Avenue, proceeds to First Street, then turns on to Main. For more information on the parade or to get involved, contact coordinator Vince Giovaniello at 209-869-6978 or 209-604-9100.
The Memorial Service takes place shortly after the conclusion of the parade, with the crowd typically adjourning to the Community Center for the ceremony.
Following the service, the traditional barbecue lunch (ribs or chicken) is served, with the meal offered from noon to 3 p.m., at the Community Center. For advance dinner tickets, contact Al Bellinger at 209-838-3388. Tickets will also be available at the door. Tickets are available at a cost of $11 for adults, $6 for kids 12 years and under.