With San Antonio being Military City, USA, it’s not surprising this Veterans Day weekend is filled with events honoring veterans and people still active in the military. There are lots of options, from taking some outside time at a Texas state park free of charge to watching Saturday’s Veterans Day Parade stepping off at the Alamo.
Veterans Day Parade
The U.S. Military Veterans Parade Association kicks off its Saturday observances with a drill team competition next to the Alamo at 8 a.m. At 10 a.m., there will be a wreath-laying ceremony in front of the Alamo.
The parade starts Saturday at noon on North Alamo Street and continues down Houston Street, eventually ending by Milam Park.
Afterward, City Councilman Roberto Treviño (D1) is hosting a free luncheon for military members and their families at the historic VFW Post 76 from 1 to 3 p.m.
So many people showed up last year to the VFW Post for lunch after the parade that they ran out of food, Treviño’s communications director Justin Renteria said.
“It’s a great community building experience and a great way to talk to folks from different generations,” Renteria said.
Spurs vs. Rockets
Tickets for Saturday’s home game against Houston are 40 percent off for active service members and veterans. Shoppers with military ID get a 15 percent discount at the merchandise shops at the AT&T Center.
Spurs players will wear silver-and-black camouflage jerseys, and active military members will present a court-sized American flag during the singing of the national anthem, according to the Spurs website. Members of each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces will also show its colors.
Texas State Parks
Even if you aren’t active or retired military, you can celebrate Veterans Day on Sunday at all Texas state parks with free admission.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas State Parks agencies are proud of the people that have served the United States in the military, said Rodney Franklin, Interim Director of Texas State Parks.
“Welcoming visitors to state parks for free on Sunday is our way of saying thanks to those who have served in the military and their families,” Franklin said in a news release. “We invite all Texans to connect with the outdoors and make state parks a part of their Veterans Day weekend.”
Camping and special activity fees will still apply at state parks on Sunday.
For bird and turkey fans
The Mitchell Lake Audubon Center is offering free admission to people with military ID on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
And on Sunday, the center is partnering with the San Antonio River Foundation to give family-friendly lessons about wild turkeys at Confluence Park on Sunday. Experts from the Mitchell Lake Audubon Center are putting on two turkey presentations, one at 2 p.m. and one at 3:30 p.m.
The center’s education manager, Niki Lake, said she will be teaching people about the bird’s history and debunking common myths about turkeys. For example, a lot of people think turkeys can’t fly, she said.
“Domestic turkeys can’t fly because they’re bred for size, but wild turkeys can fly up to 55 miles per hour and run up to 25 miles per hour,” Lake said.
There also will be activities geared toward kids at Confluence Park, including “pin the snood on the turkey.” The snood is the fleshy area that hangs from the male turkey’s forehead over the bill. Lake advised attendees to dress for the outdoors, and said the presentations would occur rain or shine.
Confluence Park is located south of downtown at 310 W. Mitchell St.