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104th Annual Bakersfield Veterans Day Parade

The community of Bakersfield crowd the streets of Downtown as they honor local veterans, showcasing almost 100 entries.
A glimpse of the community support this Veterans Day.
Posted at 9:26 PM, Nov 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-12 00:26:49-05
  • Video shows how the city of Bakersfield came out to honor local veterans with their 104th annual Veterans Day parade.
  • Taking place in Downtown Bakersfield, the parade started on the corner of 21st and L street and ended off of 21st and O street.

Veterans Day serves as a day for communities to come out to not only pay their respects to veterans but to celebrate the freedom they have. In Downtown Bakersfield members of the community took celebrating to a whole new level.

Saturday morning marked the 104th annual Bakersfield Veterans Day parade, taking over a portion of Downtown, starting on the corner of 21st and L street and make their way around until ending up on 21st and O street.

Showcasing roughly 100 entries, American Legion Post Commander Henry Benavidez says its a parade that continues to grow each year and is happy seeing the community come together to celebrate, pay their respects, and show their children what veterans day is about.

“To our veterans in the parade it shows them that there is people out there you know appreciate everything that we’ve done that we get around and do stuff,” said Benavidez.

The streets were lined with families and kids as they cheered with each passing float, and for first year attendee Joseph Puncer, he says he’s truly enjoyed the welcoming atmosphere.

Attending the 14th Veterans Day breakfast, Puncer says he’s grateful to see so many people come out and embrace the meaning of veterans day.

“Coming together to just spend time together, older veterans, younger veterans, brothers and sisters of all different walks of life — its a spirit of gratitude and appreciation really and its like the family is coming back together that we experience when were on active duty or reserve duty,” said Puncer.

Martin Coronado is another parade attendee who is also a 24-year army veteran. Coronado says Bakersfield has always demonstrated to being very supportive of its veteran community and never fails to show it during the parades.

Coronado says while he enjoys participating in the community celebrations, he also enjoys watching younger generations become educated on veterans day and believes it’s also up to veterans to spread the meaning behind the day.

“You know as veterans, we need to remember, ‘hey look you know where did the word veteran come from, you know?’ it means it comes from — its an establishment from the day of armistice,” said Coronado. “Armistice was the day of signing of peace through recognition the death os soldiers from back in World War 1, World War 2, if you don’t continue the remembrance of something, you begin to become complacent.”

The Bakersfield Veterans Day parade wasn’t the only celebration that Kern County had to offer. Both Taft and Tehachapi held Veterans Day parades, Kernville hosted a Veterans Day poker run, Ridgecrest and Bakersfield held a Veterans Day luncheon, and Delano held a Marine Corps birthday ball.


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