The Connecticut Veterans Parade in Hartford will not step off this year, due to financial reasons.
Organizers of the annual parade said they are not planning a November 2017 procession. The reason for this is "the high cost of running this type of event and the increasing difficulty in raising funds to produce it as contributing factors," according to organizers.
“This was a difficult decision for our committee to make because the parade has been a labor of love for all of us,” President of the Connecticut Veterans Fund Ray Lilley said in a statement on Wednesday. “But the rising costs of producing an event of this magnitude, combined with funding challenges, and the dwindling number of spectators who come out to cheer on a cold November day has brought us to this conclusion.”
Even though the parade is not planned, Lilley encouraged all veterans service organizations, military, and veterans support groups, and individual veterans to participate in events on Veterans Day this year.
“We are grateful to the planning committee, comprised of many veteran service organizations (VSOs), the State of Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs, and thousands of individual veterans for their participation and support since 2000, the very first year of the parade. And we thank the many companies, organizations, and individuals for their donations of dollars and services over the years," Lilley said.
The Connecticut Veterans Parade is the "New England’s largest salute to veterans" and one of "the biggest in the nation," organizers said.
Mayor Luke Bronin released a statement that said “The Connecticut Veterans Day Parade has been a longstanding and proud tradition in the City of Hartford, and as a veteran I have always valued that tradition deeply. While I'm saddened that the parade will not be taking place his year, I respect the decision of the parade organizers and I'm grateful to them for all that they have done. The City of Hartford always stands ready to partner with the Connecticut Veterans Fund, and I'm hopeful that the parade may return in the years ahead."
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