BROOKSVILLE — Anna Liisa Covell admits that at times she has been frustrated by the amount of wrangling it takes to put on the annual Veterans Appreciation Parade in downtown Brooksville.
There are the permits that need to be pulled, government agencies that need to be dealt with and, of course, the worry about how to come up with the funds to pay for such things as insurance and street closures.
But for the Brooksville businesswoman who has organized the tradition for the past dozen years, none of that seems to matter when she watches the participants proudly moving together and soaking up adoration of spectators as they pass by.
"The first year, when I saw all of these elderly vets who came out, I knew what it meant to them," Covell said. "I think it's something that needs to be done. It's a good thing for the whole community."
This year's parade kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Brooksville City Hall parking lot and will loop around downtown before winding up at the starting point. Covell said the parade will have about 30 entries, including police and fire vehicles, restored military vehicles and antique cars, plus marching bands from Hernando and Central high schools.
As always, the parade will include representatives from various veterans groups in Hernando County.
While Covell stresses that the event is a "people's parade" that's open to anyone who wants to be part of it, she has one steadfast rule: no politicking.
"I just don't think this is the place for that," she said. "We're here for one thing — to show honor and respect for those who dedicated themselves to defending freedom."