MARIETTA - There's a lot more than parades for area vets during the upcoming Veterans Day weekend and beyond this year.
"There are usually all kinds of events all over the area, including the annual Veterans Day parade in Marietta, followed by meals at the local American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts," said Roy Ash, veteran services officer for Washington County.
He said there are approximately 6,700 veterans throughout the county, and attendance honoring those men and women is pretty consistent year to year.
"But veterans may be getting a little more attention this year because of the presidential election," Ash noted.
For example, the National Park Service is offering free admission to everyone through the weekend to honor those who served in the U.S. military.
National parks throughout the country will hold special events to commemorate Veterans Day, which is Nov.11.
* The annual Marietta Veterans Day Parade will begin at 12:30 p.m. Sunday in downtown Marietta. The parade will form at noon at Fourth and Butler streets. It will travel Fourth Street to Putnam Street, then on to Front Street and the Veterans Memorial in Muskingum Park, where there will be a short program with Marietta Mayor Joe Matthews as guest speaker.
* Meals will be available at American Legion Post 64 at Eighth and Wooster streets, and at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5108 at 319 Pike St. following the parade and ceremony.
* On Monday a Veterans Day soup and sandwiches dinner will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Lowell American Legion Post 750 in Lowell.
* From 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 14 a Veterans Appreciation Day is scheduled with free admission for veterans at the Campus Martius Museum, 601 Second St., Marietta. All non-veterans will be charged regular price admission. For more information, call 373-3750 or visit http://www.campusmartiusmuseum.org/
* A Veterans Day Weekend celebration is slated at the Marietta American Legion Post 64, Eighth and Wooster streets, with live music from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, and from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call the post at 374-9484.
"National parks preserve places that commemorate our country's collective heritage-our ideals, our majestic lands, our sacred sites, our patriotic icons-which our military has defended through the years," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis in a recent news release.
"We are grateful for the service and sacrifice of military members, past and present, and honored to tell their story at many of our national parks," he added.
Closer to home, Marietta's Campus Martius Museum is offering free admission for veterans from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 14.
"It's our Veterans Appreciation Day, but we changed the date from Nov. 11 to Nov. 14 because we know many veterans will be busy with other events on Veterans Day," said Christina Graham, museum services coordinator.
In addition to free admission for veterans, historian Bill Reynolds will give a talk on the Civil War at 2 p.m. and will conduct a tour of the museum's new Civil War exhibit.
"We'll also have refreshments available all day at the museum," Graham added. "We usually have a pretty decent turnout."
Other events include a Veterans Day soup and sandwiches dinner on Monday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Lowell American Legion Post 750 in Lowell.
And special live music and other entertainment is scheduled through the weekend at American Legion Post 64 near the corner of Eighth and Wooster streets in Marietta.
Justin Arthur and James Perrine will provide the music at Post 64 from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, and Matt First and the Blue Collar Band will perform from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. Saturday.