Nothing compares to a hometown parade

The streets of downtown Bremerton will be transformed tomorrow into a jovial celebration of America’s bravest men and women.

Even better than a community festival is one that honors the sacrifices made by military servicemembers of the past, present and future. It is a day to honor and remember our military men and women who often put themselves last in defense of this great nation.

In what is the largest and longest-running Armed Forces Day parade in the country, it is an exciting day filled with fun for the whole family. For 61 years, the Armed Forces Day parade has brought smiles to the faces of the young and old. Each May, the streets are lined with people of all ages as various community groups make their way through the heart of downtown. From veterans groups including Pearl Harbor survivors to government officials and local pageant royalty, it’s a great time for the people of Kitsap County to come together.

If only for a minute, the differences between neighbors and the hardships of a struggling economy are forgotten. Community spirit comes alive as hundreds of American flags are proudly raised, the bright colors of red, white and blue fluttering in the wind.

The parade kicks off at 10 a.m., so be sure to head downtown early for a great spot on the sidelines. With more than 150 marching units and two dozen bands, the two-hour event is a sight to be seen and an experience not easily forgotten. There’s plenty for families to do before and after the parade as well including a pancake breakfast hosted by the Bremerton Central Lions, a fun run and a Heroes Barbecue later in the day.

In these tough times, it’s important a community come together to raise morale and enjoy a good, old fashioned hometown parade. There’s nothing quite like it.

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