Owensboro's big Veterans Day celebration starts Saturday with three events and continues Sunday with a free celebration at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum.

For most people, the big event is the Veterans Day Parade, which traces its roots to 1918.

It starts at 2 p.m. near Owensboro Grain and travels west on Second Street to Daviess Street and then along Veterans Boulevard to VFW Post 696.

"We're expecting 50 to 60 units this year," Cathy Mullins, spokeswoman for the events, said this week.

Most public officials, Junior ROTC units, five car clubs, the U.S. Army Reserve, a couple of vintage jeeps and Grand Marshal Chris Conley, a U.S. Army veteran and long-distance runner, will be in the parade, she said.

But Mullins said all high school marching bands have other events scheduled for Saturday and won't be able to be in the parade.

The parade is expected to last about 45 minutes to an hour, she said.

A cruise-in for parade vehicles and others will start on Veterans Boulevard when the parade ends, Mullins said.

It will continue until 5 p.m.

The day's activities begin with the sixth annual Kentucky Remembers 5K, 1 Mile Walk and Fun Run for Little Warriors from the Shelton Memorial in Smothers Park through downtown neighborhoods.

The event is free for children 10 and under.

A free breakfast for participants and their families is scheduled at the VFW post after the race.

People can sign up online at www.kentuckyremembers.org or on race day beginning at 6:30 a.m.

The National Weather Service in Paducah says temperatures in Owensboro should range from 23 degrees to 49 degrees on Saturday.

The day's activities end with the second annual Kentucky Remembers Military Ball at the Owensboro Convention Center, starting at 6 p.m. with a social hour.

Maj. Gen. (retired) Dean Allen Youngman is the guest of honor.

Benjamin Adams III, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, is scheduled to attend.

Mullins said those attending are asked to "dress to impress."

Veterans and service members are encouraged to wear their dress uniforms, she said.

The Steve Greenwell Trio will be providing the music.

Tickets are $35 per person or $50 for VIP tickets, which include a "swag bag."

They are available online at www.kentuckyremembers.org.

Free concert Sunday

At 3 p.m. Sunday, Kentucky Remembers is having a free "For Faith and County Concert" in Woodward Theatre in the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum.

Mullins said SPC Daniel Keegan Penalva of Lexington, the Kentucky National Guard's 2019 Best Warrior, will be a special guest.

She said Matthew Bradford, a combat veteran who lost his legs and eyes in Iraq on Jan. 18, 2007 -- and then re-enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps -- will be the keynote speaker.

Barb Birgy will be master of ceremonies.

Performing will be Jeremy Calloway, a gospel artist; MacKenzie Bell, Georgia state fiddle champion; Barry Lanham &d the Foot Stompin’ Express; a trio from the Kentucky Youth Chorale singing, "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy"; the Owensboro Flute Choir; Addison Hamilton with Gordy Wilcher; Emmie Kate Williams; and Skylar and Sophia Cain.

Mullins said veterans attending the performance will get a free care package.

The program is expected to last about 90 minutes, she said.

Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301, klawrence@messenger-inquirer.com

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