SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Several Santa Barbara area Veterans Day events have honored those who have served our country, and the thanks were received with smiles, hugs, and deep appreciation.
Saturday afternoon State Street downtown was lined with American flags and supportive citizens who cheered the vets in a procession through town.
Marching bands, men and women in uniforms, and vintage war equipment were all part of the event.
They were all heading to the Carriage and Western Art Museum by the waterfront for the 6th annual Salute to the Veterans. They were welcomed by host Drew Wakefield and many volunteers with pizza, tri-tip, and refreshments. The honored La Boheme dancers put on a patriotic show with red, white and blue costumes, dance routines, and interaction with the veterans.
Prior to the event, the crowd of several hundred looked to the skies for the Patriotic Parachute Team of four skydivers carrying flags. They also had smoke displays coming off their gear to be able to follow them across the waterfront landing area until they touched down in Pershing Park between the ball fields.
Veterans from all aspects of the military were present. Many are longtime friends, or some who have formed bonds here after moving to Santa Barbara.
A silent auction was also held with donations from local businesses and patriotic items including a flag made from fire hoses.
Many ladies were dressed in World War Two era outfits as part of a pinup fashion event.
The veterans activities in Santa Barbara are supported year-round by the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation.
The holiday weekend includes the closure of banks, post offices, and schools on Monday.