Canceled Austin Veterans Day Parade ‘respectfully declines’ help from Gov. Abbott

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Editor’s Note: This story has been edited to include new reporting.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Organizers of the canceled Austin Veterans Day Parade are “respectfully declining” help from Gov. Greg Abbott.

The governor on Tuesday offered up the south steps of the Capitol building as an alternative rally spot to the parade, which was called off by what Abbott called “the City of Austin’s overreaching COVID-19 requirements.”

On the event’s website, organizers said they will instead participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Veterans Pocket Park, located at 2200 Veterans Drive near Deep Eddy Pool and the Charles Johnson House operated by American Legion Travis Post No. 76.

The parade typically draws tens of thousands of people, and event organizers said while they anticipated 30,000 people at this year’s event, they “couldn’t verify all participants and spectators to have either a current negative COVID test or be vaccinated,” as required by current city regulations.

The City of Austin declined an interview with KXAN on Tuesday but said parade organizers did not submit a COVID-19 Health & Safety form to Austin Public Health for review.

Event organizers are hoping to stage the parade in 2022.

The City of Kyle still plans to hold its Veterans Day parade at noon Saturday.

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