Bremerton Honors our Armed Forces
For more than 70 years, the Bremerton Chamber of Commerce hosted an annual parade to celebrate the men and women of the United States Armed Forces on Armed Forces Day. Our community is deeply intertwined with our nation’s military and our culture has been enriched by the generations of service members who have called our city home.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our annual celebration of Armed Forces Day in 2020 was altered for the health and safety of our participants. Last year, we were fortunate to have the opportunity to host our Armed Forces Festival Golf Tournament, in spite of the pandemic.
History of the Armed Forces Day Festival and Parade in Bremerton
In I948, the Bremerton Chamber of Commerce organized a parade honoring Bremertonian John “Bud” Hawk after he was presented with the Medal of Honor for his heroism in World War II. The next year in 1949 Armed Forces Day became a national holiday honoring all branches of service. The Bremerton Armed Forces Day Parade has been running ever since and is the largest and longest running Armed Forces Day Parade in the nation. Bremerton Chamber of Commerce member businesses, like Parade Title Sponsor Kitsap Credit Union, step up to support the parade and contribute their time as well as their financial contributions. It’s truly a community effort.
Every year 20,000 people come to Bremerton and line the streets to celebrate our local armed forces. They want to acknowledge the service of this all too often overlooked part of our community and to say thank you…just as the Bremerton Chamber of Commerce has done since 1948!