FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 19, 2010
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VETERANS DAY PARADE TO CELEBRATE MORE THAN 150 YEARS
OF VANCOUVER AND NORTHWEST HISTORY
Iconic community parade to highlight role of "Buffalo Soldiers" from 1870 to 1900
VANCOUVER, Wash. - Though few realize it, Vancouver, Wash., (located just minutes north
of Portland, Ore.) is steeped in local history. Settled by the British Hudson's Bay Company as
early as 1824 and chartered as a city in 1857, Vancouver was settled long before its namesake
to the north. On Saturday, Nov. 6, members of Clark County and surrounding communities will
gather to celebrate the region's storied past with the Veterans Parade at Fort Vancouver.
Formerly known as the Celebrate Freedom Veterans Parade, the new name reflects a focus on
Vancouver's deep roots as a military base as well as a new parade route.
The theme for this year's parade is ?Honoring the Buffalo Soldiers' Service at Vancouver
Barracks,? an homage to the many African American soldiers who served in the U.S. Army at
the Vancouver Barracks during the Indian Wars. The Barracks were established by the U.S.
Army in 1849. In its day, the Barracks was the center of military operations in the Pacific
Northwest up until World War I and remained active through World War II. In 1948, the historic
site was declared a unit of the National Park Service in order to preserve the many layers of
?We want locals and visitors alike to have an opportunity not only to celebrate the brave people
who have served our country, but also to explore Vancouver's unique history,? said Kim
Bennett, president and CEO of the Vancouver USA Regional Tourism Office.This is the first year that the annual parade will be held within the confines of the Fort
Vancouver National Site. The parade will begin at the east end of Officers Row, a quaint treelined street filled with 22 fully restored Victorian homes built in the 1800s, including the Marshall
House, where a preliminary parade ceremony will take place. The parade will continue along the
historic site and will end at the Pearson Air Museum, one of the oldest continually operating
airfields in the U.S. The parade's route will also pass through the Vancouver Barracks, which
originally housed many famous Army units and personnel throughout the Army's 160-year
history at the Vancouver Barracks. Renowned Army officers who were stationed here include
Ulysses S. Grant, Oliver Otis Howard, and George C. Marshall. Stately houses bearing those
officers' names welcome visitors to the site today.
?This area is so incredibly rich with history,? said Susan Parrish of the Fort Vancouver National
Trust. ?We look forward to showcasing Vancouver's extraordinary treasures and honoring the
vital role that the military has served in our community since the establishment of the Vancouver
Barracks 161 years ago.?
Approximately 2,500 individuals - including active members of the military and veterans - will
participate in the parade, one of the largest Department of Defense-sanctioned Veterans Day
parades on the West coast. For more information on the Veterans Day parade and Vancouver's
historic sites, visit www.VisitVancouverUSA.com .
About Vancouver USA Regional Tourism Office
Vancouver USA Regional Tourism Office (formerly Southwest Washington Convention & Visitors Bureau)
is an economic development organization responsible for competitively marketing Vancouver and the
surrounding area as a destination for meetings, conventions, and group and leisure travelers. The
organization's mission is to promote Vancouver and Clark County by increasing convention and visitor
business. For more information call 360-750-1553, or log on to www.VisitVancouverUSA.com .