With one of the nation's largest parades honoring the American military, Auburn is the focus of Puget Sound's celebrations of Veterans Day.

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Auburn on Saturday hosts the regional celebration of Veterans Day with one of the nation’s largest parades honoring the U.S. military.

It’s Auburn’s 47th year of hosting the event, with more than 200 parade units, including marching bands, military and ROTC units, community groups, drill teams, floats and antique cars. The corner of Main and Division streets in front of City Hall is the most popular viewing spot, and many experienced parade fans arrive early, set up their chairs and go out to breakfast, says city of Auburn special-events coordinator Kristy Pachciarz.

“People coming to the parade for the first time are surprised at how huge it is. There’s lots of free parking, but get here early enough to allow time to make it through traffic. You won’t want to miss the C-17 flyover that starts the parade — it’s very, very cool.”

Related events include a pancake breakfast at Auburn Senior Activity Center, sponsored by the American Legion and the city of Auburn; a Veterans Remembrance Ceremony and Lighting of the Flame at Veterans Memorial Park, and a display of military vehicles, equipment and information along South Division Street adjacent to the parade route. More than 30 bands and drill teams compete in the Veterans Day Marching Band Competition at Auburn Memorial Stadium, and Sweet Swing puts on a 1940s-USO-style show at Auburn Avenue Theater.

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Veterans Day, to honor and thank all who served in the United States military, is always Nov. 11, the anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended World War I in 1918. When it falls on a Sunday, Monday is the official federal holiday. Several local attractions offer free or discounted admission to veterans and active-duty members of the military Sunday and/or Monday; see Community Datebook for more information.

Seattle Veterans Museum is open Friday through Monday to honor U.S. service members and veterans. The all-volunteer group that maintains the museum is asking for local support to continue its mission; it’s in danger of closing unless more volunteers and financial sponsorship are found.

The details

Auburn Veterans Day

Parade: 11 a.m. Saturday, traveling west on Main Street from E Street Northeast to A Street Southwest/Northwest, Auburn. Parking options include free covered parking in the Auburn Transit Station parking garage, 110 Second St. S.W.

Breakfast: 7-9:30 a.m., Auburn Senior Activity Center, 808 Ninth St. S.E., Auburn; $6.

Veterans Remembrance Ceremony: 9:45-10:15 a.m. Saturday, Veterans Memorial Park, 411 E St. N.E., Auburn.

Exhibit Showcase: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, South Division Street, downtown Auburn.

Marching Band Competition: 1:30-10 p.m. Saturday, Auburn Memorial Stadium, 801 Fourth St. S.E., Auburn; $10-$15; military in uniform with identification, free.

More information: 253-931-3043 or www.auburnwa.gov/.

Seattle Veterans Museum: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Monday, west side of Benaroya Hall behind the Remembrance Garden, Second Avenue between Union and University streets, Seattle; free, donations welcome (425-949-8821 or www.seattleveteransmuseum.org).

Madeline McKenzie: 206-464-8245 or mmckenzie@seattletimes.com

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