Elk Grove will not have its 20th annual Veterans Day parade on Nov. 11, due to the COVID-19 situation. This local tradition typically attracts thousands of people to the center of Elk Grove and Elk Grove Regional Park.

“It is the most prudent decision to make, but at the same time the health and safety of our veterans and citizens must come first,” said Sophia Scherman, a longtime Veterans Day parade organizer and former Elk Grove City Council member.

The parade joins several other annual Elk Grove festivities that were canceled this year since state and Sacramento County officials prohibit large public gatherings. Affected events include the Elk Grove Western Festival, the Strauss Festival of Elk Grove, and the Old Town Elk Grove Dickens Faire.

On Veterans Day, Elk Grove’s American Legion Post 233 plans to hold a private, “drive-thru parade” and drive to local senior homes where many veterans live.

“Hopefully, they will bring the (residents) out so we can honk and wave at them, and do something they can look forward to,” said Larry Sahota of Post 233.

He asked the Citizen to not publicize the parade route since they do not want to draw gatherings for the parade.

Sahota said that the parade will visit the Veterans Grove at the District56 civic center and take a moment of silence for past and present veterans. He mentioned that the participants will stay in their vehicles at that time.

Jason Goree of Elk Grove’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2073 said that his group will only place flags at the graves of fallen veterans.  

Robert Hale, the commandant of the Marine Corps League Detachment 1238 in Elk Grove, said that his group will have a luncheon for their members at Café Elk Grove on Nov. 7. He said they will be there to celebrate the U.S. Marine Corps birthday. They did not have events planned for Veterans Day, Hale said.