Parade focuses on U.S. military

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The American Royal’s mission is to promote and celebrate the excellence in agricultural progress and develop future generations of leaders through agrarian values, disciplines and expressions of skills.

The American Royal Parade, set for 9:45 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, expounds upon that purpose with a special “thank you” to the United States military with the theme entitled “A Star-Spangled Salute.”

AmericanRoyal“Because of the American military, we are free,” said Bryden Becker, the American Royal’s director of festival events and promotions. “Because of American agriculture, we have the bounty that is the envy of the Earth. Because of our youth, we have a future.

“Those last two are so obviously part of the American Royal’s mission and purpose as a 114-year-old charity and doing our 88th parade. We found a couple years ago that this region is one of the most patriotic, yet we had never pulled together a thank you parade for our military. We did it last year, and we firmly believe that showing our support of the American military was something we need to do again.”

The parade will travel north on Grand Boulevard from Pershing to Truman Road. Building on the success of last year’s event – which was the largest in recent memory and the largest in the Midwest honoring the military – organizers are making even bigger plans for this the 2013 festival.

“We are grateful to the Commemorative Air Force, Heart of America Wing, for supporting our parade,” Becker said. “They will be performing a formation flyover at about 9:45 that morning, which, I believe, is absolutely wonderful.”

The Commemorative Air Force is a national group that has a strong association at New Century Airport in Gardner, Kan. It’s just one aspect of the 2013 parade that will be on display for what organizers hope are tens of thousands of people celebrating all the festival has to showcase. It also is expected to feature 2,000 Boy Scouts, marching bands, drill teams, tractors, the Budweiser Clydesdales and a host of dignitaries, like Kansas City Mayor Sly James and Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, who will serve as co-grand marshal with Mary Jean Eisenhower, President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s granddaughter, and Clifton Truman Daniel, President Harry S. Truman’s grandson.

“The military has provided us the freedom to do this for many generations … freedom that also allowed our nation’s farmers to provide a bounty of food that fed our population,” said Bob Petersen, the American Royal’s president and CEO. “Without our military, none of this would have been possible. It is time we focused on saying thank you.”


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