LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - It's Armed Forces Day on Saturday, and Lawton will be celebrating with a few events, starting off with a parade through the city and then a fun day at Elmer Thomas Park. Parade organizers say that if you would like to hear the different parade entries, find a near Fort Sill Boulevard and Gore Boulevard on the parade route!
"So this parade is been going since the 60s so it's just really awesome that we are continuing it every year," Armed Forces Day Parade chairperson Melinda Kukurich said.
She said she feels proud to carry on a decades-old tradition. This parade is one of the largest in the nation.
"We've grown so I'm a little bit nervous how large this is going to be this year. I'm ready to do it," Kukurich said.
Kukurich said they will start closing down streets at 6 a.m. Saturday. Shutting down a section at a time starting with C Avenue.
She also has tips for spectators wanting to get a perfect spot.
"If there is a spot that we want to sit, come up behind that spot like through a neighborhood and park your car along those neighborhoods to park to get to where you want to see," Kukurich said.
Following the parade, a family-friendly event at the park with Comanche Nation Casino, Holiday in the Park and AMBUCS.
"There is live music, there is bouncy houses, face painting, food vendors, a static display," Kukurich said. "Some of those military vehicles you saw will actually be displayed at the park. You can walk around them. There are soldiers there that can tell you about them. You can look in them. It's really cool and the kids love that."
Kukurich, who has been organizing the parade for 7 years now, says the parade honors service members, but also educates the community.
"With these machines war machines going down the road, you get to actually witness that first hand and see what they look like and put that noise to that machine," Kukurich said. "I think it's very important to know as a community that they are here and we are here to help them and be with them and stand by them any way we can."