98 enter to join parade Saturday
By LARRY GIERER
The Veterans Day Parade is Saturday through downtown Phenix City and Columbus.
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Columbus Councilor Jerry “Pops” Barnes, a retired Army veteran who organized the event last year, said the parade is even bigger this year with 98 entries compared to 76 last year.
At noon, Barnes joins state Sen. Ed Harbison, Mayor Jim Wetherington, Fort Benning Commander Maj. Gen. Robert Brown and retired Army Col. Ralph Puckett in a series of speeches to recognize veterans at 11th Street and Broadway in Columbus.
At 1 p.m., the parade, led by Commander Vickie Dikes of the American Legion Post 267, kicks off on Broad Street in Phenix City.
The parade goes north to 13th Street and east into Columbus, then moving south on Broadway.
The parade will take a left onto Ninth Street and a right onto Veterans Parkway where it will continue south until it reaches the Columbus Civic Center.
“We want veterans to get in and drive down the parade route,” Barnes said.
Local bands and ROTC units as well as veteran groups will be marching.
Race on Saturday
Also happening to honor the military are the Soldier Half and Full Marathons. The runs will benefit the National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center, House of Heroes and the West Georgia Honor Flight.
Race Day registration is $85. The runs begin at 7 a.m. at the museum near the entrance to Fort Benning, following a scenic 5.7-mile loop on the post before returning to the museum.
After completing the Fort Benning loop, the half-marathon continues along the Riverwalk and turns just past the Water Works Center before reaching downtown Columbus and returning to the museum.
After completing the Fort Benning part of the run, the full marathon course continues along the Chattahoochee Riverwalk to downtown Columbus and Phenix City before returning to the Avenue of Flags at the museum.