Bands representing the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine bands to march in Veterans Day Parade to be announced soon!
WILMINGTON | Bands representing the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps will be announced soon for the Fifth Annual Southeast North Carolina Veterans Day Parade on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022 in downtown Wilmington.
The parade honoring all veterans, active-duty military members and reservists steps off at 11 a.m. on Third Street at Hanover Street. More than 1,800 individuals from 85 entrants are scheduled to take part.
Leading the parade will be the 208th Army Band out of Concord, N.C. “The primary mission of the band is to promote the esprit de corps of our fighting forces, and to serve as a goodwill ambassador throughout North and South Carolina,” according to the band’s website.
Representing the Navy in the parade will be the U.S. Fleet Forces Band, based in Norfolk, Va. Established in 1945, the USFF Band, known as “The Finest of the Fleet,” serves as the musical ambassador for Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command.
The Second Marine Aircraft Wing band out of Cherry Point, N.C., represents the Marine Corps in the parade. The band’s mission, according to its website, “is to provide music in support of military ceremonies, Department of Defense sponsored functions, community engagement, and Marine recruiting in order to inspire patriotism, reaffirm national values and military traditions, and build confidence in the fidelity and professionalism of 2d Marine Aircraft Wing, the Marine Corps, and the armed forces of the United States.”
The 208th Army Band’s history began in 1956, when the band was activated as the 108th Division Band after a lateral transfer of personnel and equipment from the 94th Army National Guard Band of North Carolina. After multiple moves and redesignations, in 2008 the band was realigned under the 81st Regional Support Command, headquartered at Fort Jackson, S.C., and designated as the 208th Army Band. After the realignment, the band moved from Charlotte, N.C., to its current home in Concord.
The 208th Army Band is under the command of Chief Warrant Officer Robert Slade.
The U.S. Fleet Forces Band is made up of 45 Navy musicians who perform in a variety of ensembles and for more than 400 engagements annually.
The USFF Band is under the direction of Lt. Cmdr. Gregory Fritz. The band provides musical support for military ceremonies and events, foreign dignitaries, and Navy community outreach engagements throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and Ohio River Valley areas of the U.S. The band also regularly deploys to Central and South America.
The Second Marine Aircraft Wing band’s officer in charge is Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jarrid T. Riggs. In addition to providing musical support, the band provides security augmentation as directed during tactical deployment.
The military bands will be joined in the parade by headliners The Citadel Regimental Band and Pipes and the University of North Georgia Golden Eagle Band as well as high school marching bands from the Cape Fear Region, two pipe and drum bands and a fife and drum band.
After the parade, the 208th Army Band will perform on stage at Live Oak Pavilion in Riverfront Park as part of a Veterans Day-themed celebration and information fair that starts at 11:30 a.m.
For more information about the Southeast North Carolina Veterans Day Parade and related events, please visit https://www.sencveteransparade.com.