Here's a sampling of what's happening on Veterans Day 2019, in Bakersfield:
Can it really be the 100th time a Veterans Day parade will be held in downtown Bakersfield? The answer is yes, according to American Legion Post 26, which announced that its 100th annual Veterans Day Parade will begin at 10 a.m. Monday near 21st and L streets.
The parade proceeds west on 21st, turns south one block on G Street, then turns east on 20th Street, continuing for several blocks. Early that morning, before the parade begins, veterans can eat free at the Post 26 breakfast beginning at 6:30 a.m. at 2020 H St. A lunch will also be served later in the day.
At 8 a.m. Monday, a flag raising ceremony will be conducted at the Kern Veterans Memorial at Truxtun Avenue and S Street.
About 12 miles north of Bakersfield, Camp Hamilton Veterans Memorial Park is planning its own Veterans Day commemoration. Beginning at 2 p.m. Monday, this unique park at 34999 Lerdo Highway will hold a ceremony featuring guest speakers, singers, and the Naval Sea Cadets Color Guard.
Over the years, the park has dedicated 325 trees to military servicemen and women who lost their lives in service to their country, and on Monday, a new tree will be dedicated.
Following the ceremony sliced tri-tip sandwiches will be served to all guests at no cost, said the camp's caretaker and "Gunny," Tim Hill, a retired Marine.
"We are dedicated to remembering all our brothers and sisters, who, over time, have given their lives to the service of our country," Hill said.
The following events are not on Veterans Day, but are related:
Friday, Nov. 8:
The Patriots of Kern and the Golden Empire Detachment of the Marine Corps League will commemorate the 244th birthday of the United States Marine Corps during a ceremony beginning at 10 a.m. at the Kern County Veterans Service Department, 1120 Golden State Ave.
The public is invited to this outdoor event, where the Kern County Fire Department’s huge Garrison flag will be on display. The celebration will include the presentation of the colors, the national anthem, Highland Scots Pipe and Drum Band, and remarks from the 13th commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. John Lejeune, and the current commandant, Gen. David Berger.
Of course, the traditional cake cutting ceremony will be a highlight of Friday's event. For more information about this event, call 868-7300.
Prior to the ceremony, the event's "legendary" SOS breakfast will be served starting at 8 a.m.
Saturday, Nov. 9:
Houchin Community Blood Bank will honor local veterans by dedicating a new Veterans Wall of Honor at Houchin’s Bolthouse Donor Center, 11515 Bolthouse Drive in Bakersfield. The wall was designed by Houchin staff who have previously served in the military, and it features seals from the five branches of the armed forces: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard, along with military campaign ribbons representing recent military operations.
The unveiling ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday at the center. The public is invited to attend the event and donate blood in honor of someone who has served or currently serves. Members of the military are invited to come in uniform to be honored and support the event. All military personnel, both past and present, who donate blood between Nov. 9 and Nov. 16 will receive a commemorative military challenge coin for their service.
The event will begin with a flag ceremony followed by remarks by dignitaries and veterans. Breakfast burritos will be provided to those who attend.
Houchin’s CEO, Brad Bryan, currently serves as a lieutenant commander in the Coast Guard Reserves and has been deployed eight times during his military career.
"The theme of our Veteran’s Wall of Honor is Service and Sacrifice to our Community,” Bryan said in a news release. "I hope we all take a moment to thank our military service members and veterans for their service and sacrifice this Veterans Day."
For more information call Houchin Community Blood Bank at 323-4222.
Businesses giving back
At least two Sport Clips Haircuts locations in Bakersfield will will join hundreds of locations nationwide to commemorate Veterans Day by donating an additional $1 per haircut to support “Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarships” for service members and veterans. The program, in partnership with the Veterans of Foreign Wars, has raised nearly $6.5 million for military scholarships, helping more than 1,450 veterans with education expenses needed for civilian careers.
Deals on the price of haircuts are also available Monday for veterans and active-duty military. Call ahead for details.
Black Angus Steakhouse, Applebee's, TravelCenters of America, California Pizza Kitchen and many other area businesses are offering special deals or free meals for veterans on this special day.