The streets through Folsom were lined with visitors of many generations Saturday morning, all coming out in the brisk fall air to show their support for Veterans here and gone through throughout our community and beyond.
It was the annual Wayne Spence Veteran’s Day Parade that takes place each year rain or shine, all thanks to the local man who started it over two decades ago all on his own. Now its one of the area’s grandest celebrations each year, literally.
Each year the City of Folsom names a local Veteran as the Grand Marshal for the annual Wayne Spence Veteran’s Parade. Saturday’s parade featured a phenominal ten Grand Marshals filling the role.
The ten Grand Marshals that proudly made their way through the route in Folsom Saturday served on conflicts as far back as Vietnam to as recent as Afganistan as well as the Global Way on Terrorism and others. The 2023 Honorees included:
Jay Wiley – Veteran of the Korean War
Ken Davis– Veteran of the Vietnam War
Ben Pallacios– Veteran of the Vietnam War
Robert Strebel – Veteran of the Vietnam War
Randy Vigallon – Veteran of the Vietnam War
Mark Holm – Veteran of Operation Desert Storm
Thurlow Craggs – Veteran of Operation Just Cause
Josh Baker – Veteran of the Global War on Terrorism
Rachel Cunningham – Veteran of the War in Afghanistan
Josh Dale – Veteran of the Iraq War
Saturday’s event kicked off promptly at 9 a.m. as the long line of parade entrants started at the Home Goods store parking lot and made their way to East Bidwell Street. Further up the route at City Hall, the National Anthem was performed just prior to a flyover by a pair of T-38 military jets.
The parade that is known to today as one of the largest in the region, began as a simple one-man parade through Folsom by none other than a local resident named Wayne Spence. Spence began this annual tradition by parading through the streets of Folsom on his own to honor our local veterans. He then began to encourage others to join his efforts.
Thereafter, the parade has grown into one of the largest in the region annually and has always been held on Veterans Day itself, regardless what day of the week it might fall on. Spence was also known for his involvement in assisting the city of Folsom with the naming of various streets after fallen vets and other efforts in the community to recognize its Veteran’s for decades to come. (see additional article.)
After travelling the length of East Bidwell Street, Saturday’s parade veered onto Coloma Street, and proceeded to Natoma Street and traveled past City Hall it concluded at Lion’s Park. Once the parade arrived at the park, a ceremony was held in honor of Veterans Day at the Veteran’s memorial just outside the Folsom Public Library on the lawn.
Folsom Times/TV has brought you today’s parade in its entirety and the ceremony at Lions Park in the videos contained in this article, along with a newly 80 images captured along the route today below. Enjoy!
Photos and Videos by Bill Sullivan and Adam Frick