Main Street on Saturday, Veterans Day, was packed with thousands of people. The weather was nearly picture-perfect as the town thanked its current and past veterans through the annual parade, band-a-rama and tea.

The celebration actually starts a couple of weeks before the big day with the Miss Porterville Pageant. The winner has the dual role of Miss Porterville and Veterans Day Homecoming Queen.

The week leading up to Veterans Day a slew of activities are held throughout the city, all in honor of veterans and all culminating with the Nov. 11 activities.

Porterville has become known as one of the most patriotic towns in the Valley. Spend some time outside of the area and you will quickly see that Porterville is arguably one of the most patriotic towns in America.

 People circle their calendars and come to Porterville to take part in its Veterans Day events.

Martin Silva, a U.S. Army veteran who served in Vietnam was among the spectators at Saturday’s parade.

“I always come. It’s great. I love it. There’s a lot of support for the veterans — people coming out and cheering,” Silva said. 

Silva, who was born and raised in Porterville, wore his army uniform to the parade in honor of soldiers who lost their lives.

“I do it for them — to recognize them,” Silva said as his voice started to break. “I don’t do it for me. I do it for those who did not return. I do it to honor them.”

Vietnam veteran Ron Starr also enjoyed the patriotic parade.

“I never miss these,” the elderly veteran said of the parades. “I’ve been attending for more than 20 years. I really love it and they do a good job. They go all out.  I’ve never seen so many people come to the parade. I think all of Porterville is out here.”

One can’t help but beam with pride as the city goes all out to honor its veterans. Today, Porterville we salute you.

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