About 47 entries for Saturday's Veterans/Patriot parade had been received as of Wednesday afternoon, but parade chairman Mary Nelson said she expects to have a few more before today's entry deadline.
The Veterans/Patriot Parade, sponsored by the American Legion, starts at 2 p.m. Saturday along Main Street. It is one of many Veterans Day related events taking place this weekend in Garden City.
Nelson said there were 55 entries in last year's parade and 60 the year before, but she thinks overall this year's event will be better than ever.
"I'm hoping it's better and a little bit bigger. I'm also hoping we have a good crowd at the American Legion for all the programs there's going to be afterwards," she said.
Parade entrants begin assembling at 12:30 p.m., with vehicles and horses assembling at the parking lot of the Finney County Fairgrounds, and bands and others walking the route will assemble at the Amtrak station parking lot, 100 N. Seventh St. Deadline for entries to participate in the parade is 6 p.m. today. For more information, call Mary Nelson at 275-1220 or 521-7718.
After the parade, Phil Babcock of the American Legion will present a veterans program during which fifth-grade winners of the "What a Veteran Means to Me" contest will be recognized. They include first place, Carole Galia of Charles O. Stones Intermediate Center; second place, Jordon Koerperich, St. Mary Catholic School; and third place, Iris Cernas, also of St. Mary.
Following the veterans program, the Junior ROTC will perform drills, and Parade Marshal and WWII veteran Peggy Phipps, Garden City, will be presented with a certificate of appreciation for her military service.
Phipps enlisted in Women's Army Corps (WAC) and was called to duty on Oct. 13, 1943, at Fort Oglethorpe, Ga. After two months of basic training, Phipps was assigned to Fort Francis E. Warren Army base in Cheyenne, Wyo., where she prepared the enlisted men for their tours of duty in the Pacific Theater by assisting them with updating their records, getting their shots and preparing their wills.
When the war was ending, Phipps was assigned to Fort Carson, Colo., where she took care of the men, many of whom had been prisoners of war, as they returned from overseas.
Nelson said one of the highlights she is looking forward to is the JROTC program.
"I'm proud of the youth. I've been to the schools, visited with them. I am very proud of those young cadets," Nelson said. "They're going to march in the parade and then they'll be at the American Legion for their drill demonstrations."
The events at the American Legion will conclude with a fireworks display at dusk.
Veterans Day related events taking place throughout the weekend include:
* On Friday, Gertrude Walker Elementary School will present a Veteran's Day program at 2:30 p.m. in the school gymnasium, 805 W. Fair St. Special guest speakers will be Ray Mann, a veteran from World War II, and Alfred Perez, a Vietnam War veteran.
The school invites veterans to come to the program. If veterans plan to attend, or for more information, call the school at 805-7600.
* At 10:30 a.m. Friday, Vietnam veteran Daryl S. Paulson will speak in the Pauline Joyce Fine Arts Building auditorium at Garden City Community College.
A decorated U.S. Marine Corps veteran, author and executive, Paulson, who served in Vietnam from July 1968 to August 1969, will speak about the struggles he endured and also about his own healing.
Paulson's book, "Walking the Point," has been described as a healing journey through the displacement, despair and rejection that many U.S. veterans felt after returning from the Southeast Asian conflict that drew as many as 550,000 American troops per year.
He also wrote "Haunted by Combat," which explored post-traumatic stress disorder among Vietnam veterans.
Paulson earned the USMC Navy Commendation Medal, with "V" for valor, as well as the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry and the Combat Action Award.
He is now the president and chief executive officer of a medical and pharmaceutical product research firm.
Sponsored by the Brookover Lecture Series and the GCCC Student Government Association, the program is free and open to the public.
* Local businesses are providing free meals to veterans. On Sunday, Applebee's, 3030 E. Kansas Ave., is providing free food to veterans all day. On Monday, Sam's Club, 2214 E. Kansas Ave., will provide a free breakfast for all veterans from 8 to 10 a.m. A Sam's membership is not required. Also on Monday, Golden Corral, 1727 E. Kansas Plaza, will provide a free meal for all veterans who have served or are actively serving, from 4 to 9 p.m.
* At 3 p.m. Sunday the Garden City Recreation Commission and Kansas Honor Flight will present a free screening of the documentary "V-DAY: 11.11.11" at the State Theatre, 418 N. Main St. The documentary examines what it means to be a veteran in American by telling the stories of 15 U.S. Veterans. Cameras followed these individuals and their families on Nov. 11, 2011, and beyond for a glimpse into the lives of those who protect and defend the country.
Members of the Kansas Honor Flight board of directors will be present to speak about the committee's continuing efforts to fly World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., to view the WWII Memorial.
* At 3 p.m. Friday The Chapel at the Village at Garden Valley Retirement Village, 1505 E. Spruce St., will present a "Salute to Our Veterans." B.P.O. Elks Lodge No. 1404 will conduct a recognition of veterans and Melvin Neufeld will conduct a ceremony in recognition of Wounded Warriors. Pastor David Jones will also deliver a devotional message.
Retiring of the colors will be conducted by American Legion Post No. 9, and Taps will be played by Darin Bradstreet and Stewart Boone.
The public is invited to attend. Refreshments will follow in the dining room.
* In recognition of Veterans Day, Lee Richardson Zoo is offering free vehicle admission to active, inactive or veterans of any branch of service on Saturday and Sunday. Veterans and military personnel may show their service identification or other proof of service at the vehicle entrance booth. The free admission includes all occupants of the vehicle.
Other events this weekend include:
* National Little Britches Rodeo Association Rodeo at the Finney County Fairgrounds Horse Palace: Performances are 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. The NLBRA is the oldest national junior rodeo association in the country. Kids from age 5 through 18 are eligible to participate. It features five divisions for contestants including Little Wranglers (ages 5 through 7), Junior Girls and Junior Boys (ages 8 through 13), Senior Girls and Senior Boys (ages 13 through 18). For more information, visit www.nlbra.com.
* Hanging of the Lights: Volunteers are needed to help string Christmas lights on trees in Stevens Park starting at 9 a.m. Saturday. Lights are provided by Commerce Bank and Fry Eye Associates. For more information, call the Downtown Vision office at 276-0891 or email at email@example.com.
* Garden City Boxing Club will hold its final boxing event of the year Saturday at Buffalo Jones Elementary School. Doors open at 5 p.m. with fights starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children and free for children under five years.
* Lee Richardson Zoo celebrates its 85th birthday from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, weather permitting. There will be animal encounters every 30 minutes starting at 2:15 p.m., pictures will be available with the education owls for a small fee, birthday cake at the Safari Shoppe while supplies last and crafts for kids.
* Sara Jane Richter, from Oklahoma Panhandle State University in Goodwell, Okla., will lead a discussion of "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee at 11 a.m. Saturday at Finney County Public Library, 605 E. Walnut St. This is the final book in a three-part "Reader's Choice" series.
The Talk About Literature in Kansas book discussion series is provided by the Kansas Humanities Council, a nonprofit cultural organization with more than 40 years of experience promoting understanding of the history and ideas that shape our lives and build community. To check out books and for more information about the reading series, call Elaine Scheuerman at 272-3680.
* An opening reception for the exhibit "Community Theatre Productions: A Legacy of Directing and Design" will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Finney County Historical Museum, 403 S. Fourth St. Doral "Skip" Mancini has entertained local audiences with her flair for drama for more than 30 years. Her vision has brought nearly 100 shows to the stage, with the aid of Gay Morgan's historically-accurate costume designs and Vince Mancini's Broadway-like sets. For more information about the public reception, call 272-3664.
* Saturday is opening day of pheasant and quail hunting season in Kansas. The season lasts through Jan. 31, 2013. Daily bag limits for pheasants are four cocks, and a daily bag limit for quail of eight birds.
* An annual pheasant hunters dinner is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Kalvesta United Methodist Church.
* The Church of the Brethren, 505 N. Eighth St., will host its annual Fall Harvest Auction and Soup & Pie Supper on Saturday. The supper, offered for a free-will donation, and silent auction will begin at 5:30 p.m., with the live auction starting at 7 p.m. There will be homemade candy, relish, spiced tea, cappuccino, wood carvings, a hand-quilted quilt and many other items. For more information, call 276-7391 or visit www.gardencitycob.org.
* Sponsored by Garden City Arts, the Wichita Children's Theater will perform "Annie Oakley" at 7 p.m. Friday at Clifford Hope Auditorium at Horace Good Middle School, 1412 N. Main St. Admission is $5 for ages two and older; kids younger than two are admitted free. A family pack is being offered for $20. An hour long workshop will follow the performance.
* St. Dominic Altar Society's annual bake sale is scheduled from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday inside the St. Dominic Parish Center, 615 JC St. Any remaining food will be sold after the 5:30 p.m. Mass on Saturday, and the 10:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday. All proceeds go toward funding youth activities. Home baked pies, yeast breads, cakes, and cookies are accepted for donations as well as free-will offerings.
* South Gray High School is holding a 5K Hunger Run/Walk at 8 a.m. Saturday. Registration is at 7:30 a.m. in front of the high school. Start and finish line is at 101 S. Aztec in downtown Montezuma. The cost is $25 with proceeds funding local childhood hunger prevention programs. Contact Audrey Maxwell at South Gray High School for more information.
* Ulysses is hosting a Turkey Trot and Shuffle at 8 a.m. Saturday at Bentwood Golf Course. Registration is at 7:30 a.m. To register in advance contact the Grant County Recreation office, 204 E. Wheat, or call (620) 356-4233. The cost is $10 for SWFTR runners; $15 for Turkey Trotters. A frozen turkey will go to the top three runners in each division.