Parade Standards


  1. INTENT AND PURPOSE: The intent and purpose of the Phoenix Veterans Day Parade is to honor our nation’s Veterans by respectfully and positively recognizing their military service in the Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, National Guard, Coast Guard, or Merchant Marines.) Any individual or unit determined to have a presentation that is inconsistent with the theme of this parade may be denied participation in the parade on that basis. The Parade may not be used for any other platform for any other issue or cause.
  2. Entry Request/Acceptance: Entrants must complete a Phoenix Veterans Day Parade Entry Application Form in its entirety. Entries MUST include what type of attire the unit will be wearing for the parade AND what type of items they will be carrying or displaying. All entries are subject to approval by the Phoenix Veterans Day Parade Team to ensure adherence to the standards and guidelines. Missing information on the entry form may delay this approval process. Entries will be notified of acceptance or declination to the parade in October.
  3. SIZE LIMITS: Each parade entry is limited to 150 members. Any entries larger than this who wish to participate in the Phoenix Veterans Day Parade will be split-up into two or more separate units in order to create steady flow for the overall parade.
  4. PARADE LENGTH AND PACE: Because of the length and pace of the parade route, children who are marching in the parade must meet the minimum age requirement of 13 years old.
  5. TRASH (PACK IT IN AND PACK IT OUT): Entrants must ensure that all trash generated by their entry while in the staging and de-staging areas is taken with them to the trash. This includes all items including staging needs (i.e. decorations, wooden pallets, paper, empty water bottles, etc.). Trash bins are provided and entrants are requested to take their own trash to these disposal areas.
  6. ESCORTS: If there is a need for official escorts for a unit, they should be an actual part of each parade unit. Official escorts participating in the parade are limited to five escorts per 50 people. (150 entry limit = 15 escorts maximum per unit). Escorts MUST be in patriotic attire, and be an actual part of a marching unit.
  7. SAFETY AND COURTESY: Entries should participate in the parade in a courteous fashion, with safety in mind at all times. Parade entry members who are riding on a float must be securely fastened to the float with safety harnesses. All entries in vehicles must display both a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance to participate in the parade. License and Insurance will be checked off for each entry prior to parade movement. For safety reasons it is very important to NOT throw anything into the crowd from the parade route. Handouts or giveaway items are to be denoted as part of your entry. If you are handing out items, you must walk closest towards the spectators, handing out items and keeping pace with your entry.
  8. ELIGIBILITY FOR JUDGING: Entries have the option of being judged for parade awards. Entries will be judged on presentation along the entire two mile parade route. Any entry that fails to adhere to the parade standards and guidelines will disqualify their entry from eligibility for all awards. Dependent upon the infraction, the entry may also be suspended from participation in future parades.
  9. NO STOPPING ALONG PARADE ROUTE: ENTRIES SHALL NOT STOP IN THE PARADE for any reason other than an emergency. This includes any precision or drill unit presentation or gymnastics etc. Please note that stopping along the parade route creates gaps in the parade and can ruin the actual overall event.
  10. ANIMAL WASTE: All animal (equestrian and canine) units must have appropriate methods of waste removal (i.e. diapers or “pooper-scoopers”) and are responsible for ensuring cleanup in the staging area, along the parade route, and in the de-staging area. All entries with animals shall ensure that the animal waste is packed out with their entry or disposed of in a safe and appropriate manner.
  11. THEME: The theme of the Phoenix Veterans Day Parade changes each year and is chosen to help honor our Veterans through patriotic and uplifting parade entry displays. Our intention is to positively recognize those who have served in the Armed Forces who protected the citizens of the United States and preserve our freedom.
  12. APPAREL: Parade apparel must be appropriate to the parade theme. For example, Reserve Officer Training Corps in uniform, Novelty Unit in Pom attire, Pearl Harbor Veterans in Aloha attire, etc. DOD standards allows for those who are on active-duty or active-reserve or on orders to be in uniform. Retired members’ uniform wear is optional but highly preferred in keeping with the theme. Please note: Flag etiquette prohibits the wearing of the American flag as clothing.
  13. MUSIC: Bands MUST play music along the entire length of the two mile parade route. Bands are also strongly encouraged to play some patriotic music and/or some military marches. Floats must have recorded or live patriotic music on their float. The music should be played during the entire length of the parade for the enjoyment of all spectators.
  14. VEHICLE AND FLOAT DECORATIONS: Vehicles entered into the parade should be either of historic or military significance or have some Veteran connection. If not, they must be able to provide a service to the parade (i.e. carrying a parade grand marshal, novelty, VIP, etc.). ALL civilian vehicles shall be decorated in a patriotic theme in order to bring more attention to the service of our Veterans. Tow vehicles for floats or other entries should also be decorated in a patriotic theme. Vehicles shall also maintain the parade pace.