Gainesville officials postponed Sunday’s Veterans Day festivities, citing a dire weekend weather forecast.
The ceremony is instead set for 5:30 p.m. Monday in Leonard Park. All events of the evening remain as planned, including fireworks and a free barbecue dinner.
Patrick McCage of the Gainesville Parks & Recreation Department cited a predicted 75 percent chance of thunderstorms Sunday, and said he decided to delay the event for safety’s sake.
“Odds are against us right now,” McCage said Thursday. “We’re going to take the preemptive strike on this thing and move it to Monday. We don’t want to take the chances. We have a lot of people involved in the program — not to mention the veterans who are speaking — and I don’t want to have to cancel it at the last minute.”
McCage’s department is sponsoring the annual commemoration, which will boast a large fireworks display, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) color guard and patriotic music, and is free and open to the public. The local VFW Post #1922 and the Ladies Auxiliary will host a free barbecue dinner in the park pavilion after the program.
This year’s guest speaker is Cooke County Sheriff Mike Compton.
In addition to Compton’s guest appearance, the commemoration will include an address by Gainesville Mayor Jim Goldsworthy, special patriotic music selections from the Gainesville High School Choir and vocalist Lori Hart and a fly-over of the North American T-6 Texan airplanes.
Reminder: the portion of U.S. Highway 51 in front of the veterans memorial will close at approximately 5:15 p.m. prior to the fireworks exhibition.
Guests are encouraged to come early if they plan to park inside the Leonard Park confines.