By Jennifer Grimes

Triplicate staff writer

God Bless America weekend was formally declared a go yesterday to celebrate Del Norte County veterans and to rouse the communitys spirit of patriotism.

Local elected officials and government staff workers, who have volunteered to organize the Nov. 9, 10 and 11 event, said its crucial the whole community pitch in to help and participate.

It culminates on Veterans Day with a parade demonstrating the spirit of America that unites us both as a county, community and most important, as citizens of this great county, said former U.S. Airforce Colonel Craig Bradford who now helps run the Del Norte Economic Development Corporation.

The parade will start at noon, Sunday, Nov. 11 and everyone is invited to march. The starting point and route of the parade will be announced soon.

I want to encourage all the vets to participate and put on their VFW hats and pins and old uniforms. I think its important for our young people to see that, said county tax collector Sarah Sampels, who serves in the U.S. Army reserves.

Before the parade, on Friday Nov. 9, a program and dinner called Salute to the Veterans of Del Norte County will be hosted by several local service clubs. Starting at 5 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Hall, a spaghetti dinner will be served for all veterans and their families. Non-veterans are welcome, too, but will be asked to give a $5 donation.

The program will begin with the U.S. Coast Guard raising the flag, keynote speaker Craig Bradford will deliver his speech and conclude with a Salute to the flag ceremony led by Rich Teague, explaining proper procedures and etiquette surrounding the flag.

On Saturday, Nov. 10, the Veterans of Foreign Wars has invited all veterans and their families and friends to a turkey dinner at 5 p.m. in the Veterans Memorial Hall. The cost is $6 for adults and $3 for children under 12.

Anyone with an appetite for turkey and warm fellowship is welcome to attend, said county supervisor Clyde Eller.

Eller said anyone interested in participating in the Nov. 11 parade should just show up. Organizers will be on the scene to give people a place to file into the parade. He also said groups and individuals who marched in the July Fourth parade were sent a letter asking them to participate. If you have questions about participating in the parade, call the Crescent City-Del Norte County Chamber of Commerce at 464-3174.