PARSONS, Kan. — One southeast Kansas community is kicking off its Veterans Day celebrations early.

Downtown Parsons hosted its annual Veterans Day parade, running from Central Avenue to Main St. Organizers actively encouraged local veterans and active service members to participate in the parade, where they were honored by the community.

The Parsons Area Chamber of Commerce chose to hold the parade a day before Veterans Day, giving kids the opportunity to get involved in the festivities.

“I am so glad that the kids are going to be able to see actual veterans, and to recognize that these people they see on a daily basis have done this amazing thing to take care of our country … Making room for them to walk, or roll, or ride in the parade to be recognized is really important to our community,” said Liz Cochran, Parsons Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director.

The Grand Marshal for this year’s parade was retired U.S. Marine Steve Ray.