Local residents, marching bands, businesses, community organizations and youth groups celebrated and thanked San Benito County’s and the nation’s veterans at the annual Veterans Day parade in downtown Hollister Nov. 11.
Leading the early afternoon procession were the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9242 Honor Guard, consisting of local veterans Bernie Ramirez (U.S. Army), Adam Mendolla (U.S. Army), Joe Ortiz (U.S. Army), Chuck Spandri (U.S. Army), Mike Canning (U.S. Coast Guard), Gary Hosman (U.S. Air Force), Victor Padilla (U.S. Army) and Maria DeLaCruz (U.S. Army).
The parade’s grand marshal was Richard Wagoner, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.
Additional veterans who were honored as they marched or rode in classic cars along the parade route on San Benito Street are LULAC Veterans of the Year Bryan Morse and Larry Brown.
Marching bands and color guard regiments from Hollister High School and Rancho/Maze middle schools performed in the Nov. 11 parade lineup. Local Cub Scouts and Girls Scouts joined the procession, which also included Hollister Police and County Sheriff’s personnel and vehicles, giant military trucks and motorcyclists from the American Legion Riders and Patriot Guard.
Announcing the parade live from a grandstand in front of the Veterans Memorial Building were Frankie Gallagher and Jennifer Bettencourt.
Inside the Veterans Building, the local VFW also hosted a barbecue lunch fundraiser throughout the Veterans Day afternoon. Additional Veterans Day activities in downtown Hollister included a veterans’ benefit fair and appreciation ceremony.
The 20th annual Hollister parade was sponsored by VFW Post 9242 and American Legion Post 69.