HANNIBAL — After Heartland Auto Body and Towing owner Jason Krigbaum and Hannibal Mayor James Hark heard there were no applications filed yet for a Veterans Day parade, they sprang into action to ensure this year's event would be a welcome tribute for all veterans and a way to help raise awareness about the forthcoming Veterans Memorial and Freedom Bell.
Hark said Krigbaum has been reaching out to organizations for the parade — including the Hannibal Fire Department, Hannibal Police Department, Marion County Ambulance District, Bleigh Construction and local Girl Scout Troops — for floats in the parade. Krigbaum is paying for the special event insurance that is regularly funded by the $10 registration fee for each float, so every dollar raised will go toward the Veterans Memorial and Freedom Bell Fund for the future construction of the memorial at Cardiff Hill Overlook Park. Krigbaum plans to have as many trucks and flatbed trailers available as needed so every veteran who wants to join the parade can ride along or walk down Broadway.
“That's why we took it on, because it wasn't going to happen this year,” Krigbaum said.
This year's parade will begin with a line up at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 9 at Save-A-Lot, and the procession down Broadway will begin at 11 a.m. Hark said the Hannibal High School band will perform behind the veterans, and Krigbaum said volunteers will hand out American flags to any veterans who couldn't be in the parade.
Before the details came together over the past 10 days, Krigbaum mentioned to Hark that he hadn't heard about a Veterans Day parade coming up on the Hannibal City Council Agenda. The situation changed at Tuesday evening's city council meeting, when Krigbaum received formal approval for the parade.
“In my talking, we felt like if it wasn't for the veterans, we wouldn't have any parades,” Hark said. “Jason is a very patriotic person, and he said 'whatever is necessary — whether we need trucks, if you need me to go before council — I'll do what it takes.'” Hark and Krigbaum encouraged all veterans who would like to join in the parade to call 573221-5856. Application forms for floats are available at Heartland Auto Body and Towing, the Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce, the Hannibal Convention and Visitors Bureau, and online at Eventbrite or by visiting the Hannibal Mo. Bicentennial 2019 page on Facebook.
Hark said he will select a Mayor's Choice Award for the floats, but he stressed that the event is “all about the veterans,” and he looked forward to the parade expanding each year.
“I hope this year is successful, and next year, I hope it's twice as good — whether we're the sponsor of it, or somebody else says 'hey, we want to jump in and be a co-sponsor,' we'll do it together — I'd like to see it just continue to grow and evolve into a bigger and better thing every year,” Hark said.