Community celebrations and services will be held throughout the Lake Norman area in the coming days to honor the service, sacrifice and commitment of all the nation’s military veterans. In honor of Veterans Day, morning-long activities are planned in Huntersville,Cornelius and Lincolnton for Saturday, Nov. 10. Davidson ceremonies will be held Monday, Nov. 12, and Mooresville has had events throughout the week.

Huntersville

The third annual Veterans Day celebration and parade in Huntersville on Saturday will be the first community event to fully incorporate the new Veterans Memorial at Veterans Park @ Main and Maxwell. The tribute to all service members, featuring columns honoring each branch of the U.S. military, is the centerpiece of the downtown park – bordered by Main Street, Maxwell Avenue and Huntersville-Concord Road. The facility was finished by Memorial Day in May, but inclement weather that day moved all events indoors.

For Huntersville’s Veterans Day gathering, hosted by American Legion Post 321 and organized by the town’s Downtown Events and Facility Coordinator Alison Ahrens, activities on the Veterans Park Green will begin at 9 a.m. The event will feature live music, activities for all ages, various vendors and the opportunity for all those in attendance to create cards to be distributed to local veterans.

The Veterans Day Parade, featuring approximately 31 entries, according to Ahrens, will begin at 10 a.m. at the American Legion Post adjacent to the park and will follow a route on Maxwell Avenue and N.C. 115. The parade will include representatives from Post 321, local Scout troops, the JROTC programs at North Mecklenburg and Hopewell high schools and the Hough High Band. The parade will be the prelude to Veterans Day ceremonies scheduled for 11 a.m. on the Veterans Park stage.

Joe Reale, commander of Post 321 and vice-commander of the N.C. American Legion, will serve as grand marshal of this year’s parade, and he described the Veterans Memorial as a “valuable addition” to the town’s celebration.

“It came about after many years of planning and effort and a commitment by the town, local Rotary clubs, the Sons of the American Legion, the auxiliary and others,” Reale said. “And it is a fitting tribute to every citizen here who answered the nation’s call to service.”

Ahrens encouraged those planning to attend Huntersville’s parade and ceremonies to use the Town Center parking deck. Those with inquiries about the parade and program can contact Ahrens at aahrens@huntersville.org.

Cornelius

The Cornelius Park, Arts, Recreation & Culture (PARC) Department is partnering with American Legion Post 86 to host a Saturday morning full of events leading up to the town’s annual Veterans Day ceremony.

All activities, starting at 9:30 a.m, will be held at and around Cornelius Town Hall, 21445 Catawba Ave. The Cornelius Arts Center will host activities for children and their families to celebrate Veterans Day and salute the community’s veterans by making thank-you cards and creating patriotic arts and crafts.

Those activities and more, including cookie decorating opportunities, will continue until 10:45 on the town hall lawn. In case of inclement weather, town hall will host the festivities.

The Cornelius Veterans Day Program will follow at 11 a.m. at the Cornelius Veterans Monument at Rotary Plaza. American Legion Post 86 Commander Gene McKinney will lead a ceremony that will include recognition of military branches of service.

Planned aspects of the ceremony also include performances of patriotic songs by the Hough High School Concert Choir, a special performance by country music artist and Army veteran Rockie Lynne, and a 21-gun salute.

This family-friendly program is designed to honor all military veterans and those currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

More information is available at www.cornelius.org/parc.

Davidson

Davidson has already completed one of its commemorative traditions involving the placement of flags on veterans’ graves, and the town’s official Veterans Day ceremonies will be held at 11 a.m. Nov. 12 at Davidson Town Hall, 216 S. Main St.

The program will feature a keynote address from Dr. Robert Lutz, a retired U.S. Army Colonel and a 1987 graduate of Davidson College. Lutz, a critical care and sports injury specialist, now serves as a team physician for the college’s sports programs.

The ceremony will be held on the front steps of town hall and chairs will be provided for attendees. The Hough School Wind Ensemble and students in the school’s Army ROTC program will also participate in the ceremonies.

Hough ROTC students have already been active in the town’s annual tribute to veterans. Representatives of the Hough unit, accompanied by Senior Army Instructor Col. (ret) Joe Howard and Army Instructor First Sgt. (ret) Daryl Hayes, met several local veterans on Sunday, Nov. 4, and in joint effort coordinated by former Davidson mayor John Woods, placed flags on the headstones of veterans’ graves in town cemeteries.

Leslie Willis with the Davidson Parks and Recreation Department is in charge of the town’s ceremonies and can be reached at lwillis@townofdavidson.org.

School tributes

Veterans Day programs are also planned at local schools, including two scheduled for Friday, Nov. 9.

Bailey Middle School, on Bailey Road in Cornelius, will hold its annual salute to veterans starting at 9:30 a.m, in the school gym.

And at Blythe Elementary School, on N.C. 115 in Huntersville, the traditional ceremonies and school-wide assembly honoring veterans will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the school cafeteria.

Mooresville Veterans Celebration

The Mooresville Veterans Celebration has always been a weeklong event.

It began five years ago, when Mooresville veterans came to the town with a request, said Town Public Information Officer Kim Sellers.

“It started because our veterans here wanted to do something veteran-centric in Mooresville,” Sellers said. “Troutman had a parade. Other communities had veterans-related events. … But they wanted something to be done here.”

The idea of a parade was discussed – but Sellers said it grew from there, even in the first year.

“It’s not just a Veterans Day – it’s a Veterans Week,” Sellers said.

In the years since, the weeklong celebration has included a number of different events. Sellers said the ones on this year’s schedule have all been done before, with the exception of one – the classic car cruise-in.

“We always use classic cars in the parade to transport the veterans,” Sellers said. “So the idea came about, why not do a classic car show here?”

The cruise-in will start at noon Nov. 10 on Broad Street and will also feature food trucks and live music from The Catalinas.

Other Nov. 10 events include the Home for Our Heroes 5K, which starts at 9 a.m. at St. Luke Greek Orthodox Church, and the One Nation Under God Luncheon, which starts at 11:30 a.m. at Coddle Creek ARP Church.

Neither event is run by the town, but questions can still be directed to Sellers at 704-799-4011.

On Nov. 11 – Veterans Day – the traditional ceremony at Glenwood Memorial Park will be held at 11 a.m.

“It is tradition, you always have any type of memorial ceremony on 11/11 at 11,” Sellers said. “That’s Veterans Day. That’s the time.”

But, because Veterans Day is on a Sunday this year, the annual Veterans Parade in downtown Mooresville will take place at 2 p.m. so it does not interfere with people’s times of worship.

“You see these veterans, some who may still be in their 20s and some who are in their 90s,” Sellers said of the parade. “And the pride they have and the excitement they show because people are here to recognize and thank them – it’s a great parade. It really is.”

For more information about this year’s Mooresville Veterans Celebration events, visit www.townofmooresvillenc.com/veterans/.

Ron Howard Veterans Day Ride and Bike Show

For the second year in a row, the Veterans Day Ride and Bike event will allow motorcyclists to travel from IOMAX USA, Inc. in Mooresville to Joey’s Fine Food & Spirits in Denver for a number of good causes.

The ride, which starts at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 10, is held in honor of Ron Howard, the founder of IOMAX and a U.S. Army veteran, who died in June 2017.

All proceeds from the event will go to Purple Heart Homes, Children’s Hope Alliance, Lincoln County Family Assistance and Gold Star Family Scholarship Fund.

It costs $20 to ride and $10 for each additional passenger.

You can sign up before at www.eastlincolnwellnessfoundation.org or at the start of the ride with cash or card.

Lincoln County parade, dinner

The Lincoln County Veterans Council and American Legion Post 30 host the annual Lincolnton Veterans Day Parade and ceremony Saturday.

Anyone can participate in the parade by joining the line-up at 10:30 a.m. on Water Street.

The parade kicks off at 11 a.m. and goes from East Main Street, Flint to Court Square. The ceremony follows immediately on the east side of the court house.

The veterans council represents five veterans’ organizations in Lincolnton, including the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Vietnam Veterans of America and the Marine Corps League.

Historical Society dinner

The Eastern Lincoln Historical Society hosts a Veterans Day dinner and program 5:30-7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, at Unity Presbyterian Church. The event is aimed to honor veterans and their guest who have lived or currently reside in Eastern Lincoln County.

The speaker will be Chaplain Col. Henry Haynes who was the chaplain of the Pentagon Sept. 11, 2001. He remembers the sequence of events of the terrorist attacks and will share what it means to be an American from the context of 9/11.

RSVPs are encouraged. For more information, call 704-477-0987 or go to the Mundy House and History Center of Eastern Lincoln County event page.

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