This year's Lexington Veterans Parade will offer something new.
Traditionally, organizers have had soldiers or veterans serve as parade grand marshals.
This year, it will be the mothers of veterans. Members of War Mothers of the Bluegrass, Inc., an organization made up of Central Kentucky-area moms of soldiers who have served or are serving in the military, will be the parade's grand marshals.
Judy Rittenhouse of Lexington, a member of War Mothers of the Bluegrass, said the women will be riding near the head of the parade in a vehicle provided by the Kentucky National Guard. Rittenhouse's son Michael served two tours in Iraq with the U.S. Marines.
Also participating in the parade will be representatives of the 5th Ranger Infantry Battalion; the William Sutherland Reid Pipe Band; the Bryan Station High School Junior ROTC; the Fiddystunter mini motorcycle group; the Rolling Thunder and Southern Cruisers motorcycle clubs; the Bluegrass Mustang Club and veterans from the Thomson Hood Veterans Center at Wilmore.
War Mothers of the Bluegrass Inc. is involved in various programs to assist veterans, from raising funds to provide Christmas items for homeless veterans to sending gifts to soldiers serving overseas.
The parade will highlight activities this weekend marking the upcoming observance of Veterans Day on Thursday. The 3rd annual Victory 5K run/walk will kick off the observance Saturday morning at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 2250 Leestown Road. Registration will be at 7:30 a.m. with the race scheduled to start at 9 a.m. For more information, call (859) 253-0717.