A quick history lesson: November 11th became a legal holiday in 1938. It was then called Armistice Day in honor of the end of World War I. In 1954, the day became a holiday to honor veterans of all wars.
Around metro Phoenix, many events are happening on Friday, November 11th and throughout the weekend to celebrate the service and sacrifice of military veterans.
Phoenix Veterans Day Parade
The Phoenix Veterans Day Parade, presented by the nonprofit organization Honoring American Veterans, begins at 11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 11. More than 45,000 participants are expected for the event, which begins at Montebello and Central avenues, and runs through the east side of Camelback. road, and turns south at Seventh Street to end at Indian School Road. The parade will feature hundreds of participants and special features such as a T-55AM2 tank and an eagle balloon with a 25-foot wingspan. Some of this year’s Grand Marshals are Scottsdale’s Sam Weinstein, who took the plunge while defending his fort in the Army during World War II; Lew Bradley of Chandler, who risked his life to save downed pilots in the Korean War; Tom Tostenson of Phoenix, who served as an Army chaplain from 1985 to 1998; and Jonathan Rosenberg of Phoenix, who spent 22 years in the Marine Corps, including several combat deployments. Visit the Honoring American Veterans website for full details.
East Valley Veterans Parade
The annual East Valley Veterans Parade will honor our nation’s service members on Friday, November 11th beginning at 11:00am. The parade begins at Center Street and University Drive, where it will proceed south on Center Street and west on First Street, continuing down Robson. . This year’s parade theme is “Raise the Flag,” and the grand marshal is retired Army colonel and Medal of Honor recipient Bruce Crandall, who received the nation’s highest military honor for his heroic actions as a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War. A short program honoring veterans for their service by Meso Mayor John Giles will begin at 10:40 a.m. at the start of the parade route. See the parade website for more information.
Tempe Veterans Day Parade
This 50-year tradition will begin on Friday, November 11 at 10:00 am. The parade will begin at Gammage Auditorium, 1200 South Forest Avenue, Tempe, and proceed north on Mill Avenue to Tempe Beach Park, where there will be live entertainment and a Resource Center. Non-profit community and organizations dedicated to serving active duty military, veterans and their families. Visit the City of Tempe website for full details.
Veterans Day Pumpkin Dance
To celebrate Veterans Day, head to the Pueblo Grande Museum for the annual Veterans Day Pumpkin Dance. Presented by the Arizona Territory Gourd Society, the event will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, November 11 at the museum, 4619 East Washington Street. for the Veterans Day Pumpkin Dance, Nov. 11, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Pueblo Grande Museum. The dance will begin at 11:30 a.m., and the day will feature art, indigenous vendors, and more. There is no cost to participate. See the City of Phoenix website for complete details.
Tribute to Indigenous Veterans
The Heard Museum will host a full day of Veterans Day programming on Friday, November 11th. From 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, attendees will be able to hear live music and see works by veteran local artists in the courtyard. At 5:00 p.m., the 10th Veterans Day Sunset Tribute will be held with a keynote speaker and special guests. Additionally, all veterans in attendance will be presented with commemorative medallions and an outdoor reception will be held. Outside events are free; inside the museum, admission is $22.50, the new exhibition “In the Service Of: American Indian Artists and Tributes” will open. Admission to the museum is free until Sunday, November 13 for veterans and one guest. Visit the Heard Museum website for more.
Veterans Day Tribute Concert
Pinnacle Presbyterian Church’s Pinnacle Concert Series will feature an evening of music by the Phoenix Brass Collective and others, paying tribute to those who have served in the military. The program also includes poetry and other reading material. There is no cost to participate, but donations are requested. Pinnacle Presbyterian Church is located at 25150 North Pima Road, Scottsdale. See the church music website for information.
Free Virtual Concert
The Chandler Center for the Arts hosts a free concert by the United States Air Force Band Airmen of Note. While no more tickets are available, you can stream the show live at home on Friday, November 11, starting at 7.30pm. The link to the live stream is available here.
Free Admission to the Veterans Museum
Several museums in Mesa are giving free admission to veterans and active duty military, plus three additional people (four people per party), on Friday, November 11th. Participating museums include the Arizona Museum of Natural History, 53 North Macdonald, the Museum of Ideas. at 150 West Pepper Place, and the Commemorative Air Force Museum at 2017 North Greenfield Road. Bells of Peace Celebration will be held at the Air Force Memorial Museum at 11:00 AM. November 11th, 9:00 PM to 5:00 PM at the Arizona Museum of Natural History, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the Idea Museum, and 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Air Force Memorial Museum.
Discounted admission to Odysea and Butterfly Wonderland
Odysea Aquarium and Butterfly Wonderland, both located at the Arizona Boardwalk complex in Scottsdale, are offering discounts to veterans and active duty military on Friday, November 11th. Service members will get $10 off the $44 aquarium ticket price and $3 off the $28 ticket price. For Butterfly Wonderland. Friday hours are 9:00am to 7:00pm for Odysa and 9:00am to 5:00pm for Butterfly Wonderland.
Free fun at Mavrix and Octane Raceway
Scottsdale attractions Mavrix and Octane Raceway have some specials for veterans and their families on Friday, November 11th. At Mavrix, active and former service members and their families get one hour of free bowling; At Octane Raceway, they get a free 30-minute ax throwing session. Show military identification to get a deal. It is located at Mavrix 9139 Talking Stick Way, Scottsdale, and is open Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Octane Raceway is located at 9119 Talking Stick Way, Scottsdale, and is open Friday 11 a.m. to midnight.