Old Soldiers and Sailors parade honors vets

Anna Maria Veterans Day parade
- Joe Hendricks | Sun

ANNA MARIA – The inaugural Old Soldiers and Sailors Veterans Day parade delighted cheering crowds lining Pine Avenue on Friday, Nov. 10.

A bagpiper and color guard led the parade down Pine Avenue, followed by two marching bands, veterans riding in various vehicles, local veterans on foot, children from The Center and more. The Privateers’ Skullywag float brought up the rear as the parade ended at City Pier Park.

Underneath the new shade sail structure, Vietnam War veteran and Anna Maria Mayor Dan Murphy presented ceremonial medals to attending veterans after a flag-raising ceremony and the playing of “Taps.”

“I’m overwhelmed and humbled by the turnout for this parade. It started out with one bagpiper and a drummer and morphed into two marching bands and 30 to 40 different mobile entries. I’m happy we put a lot of smiles on a lot of peoples’ faces today. That was what I wanted to do. My staff did an incredible job, and you can bet we’re going to do it again next year,” Murphy said afterwards.

After the ceremony, several people headed over to the Anna Maria Historical Society Museum for an ice cream social, where museum volunteers scooped and served ice cream and toppings donated by Dips Ice Cream and the Anna Maria General Store and Deli.