Due to current bridge work along Broad Street and the extended parade route, parade organizers are asking participants to drive or ride in Tamaqua's Veterans Day Parade on Saturday. Organizers said this is being done for safety reasons, as well as for the health of older veterans and parade participants.
The detoured route will turn right onto N. Greenwood Street, left onto Mauch Chunk Street, left onto Pine Street, and then right onto Broad Street.
The parade, hosted annually by the Tamaqua American Legion, will start at 10 a.m. at the east end of town and end at the intersection of Lehigh Street.
Members of the Legion are encouraging everyone to ride or drive in the parade, to include all veterans, businesses, fire companies, churches, youth groups, clubs, organizations, families and individuals. They are also asking that all participants decorate their vehicles with American flags or red, white and blue decorations. No pre-registration is needed and participants are simply asked to show up. Staging starts at 9:15 a.m. at the old MAFF Motors, 900 E. Broad St.
Prior to the parade, members of the Legion's Honor Guard will fire a volley over the Tamaqua War Memorial, located next to MAFF.
Leading this year's parade behind the Honor Guard will be Tamaqua resident Lawrence "Larry" J. Kabana. A 1957 graduate of Tamaqua High School, Kabana is the son of John and Helen (Starry) Kabana of Tuscarora. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1963 and served at Fort Knox, Ky.; Fort Jackson, S.C; Frankfort, Germany; and was honorably discharged from Fort Dix, N.J.
He served 12 years with the Hometown Unit of the Pennsylvania National Guard.
Married to the former Nancy Wolfe, he has two sons, Kevin in Michigan and John of Tamaqua; and four grandchildren, Leanne, Michael, Brett and Katie. He also has a great-grandchild, Brayden Kabana, in Michigan.
A resident of Tamaqua since 1972, he retired from employment at the Pottsville Hospital and Warne Clinic in 2002. He is a 39-year member of the Tamaqua American Legion, C.H. Berry Post 173, where he currently serves as post commander and service officer for the 13th District.
In addition, Kabana has served as the post's first and second vice commander, commander three times and service officer. He is a life member of both the West Penn Rod and Gun Club and the South Ward Fire Company. He was also an active member of Tuscarora's Ambulance and Fire Company.
Following the parade, everyone is invited to attend the Tamaqua American Legion's Veterans Day Service outside its post, 206 W. Broad Street, at 11 a.m. After which free hot dogs, soup and refreshments will be served to veterans and family members inside the Legion.
For more information about the parade, call (570) 668-1234.