The Veterans Day Parade in Columbia is one of the most popular events for Veterans Day. Credit: Megan Parrott

Veterans Day is Monday, Nov. 11 and the city of Columbia, along with the Midlands organizations, is getting ready to show its respects for the ones who have served our country.

The celebrations start in Columbia the day before the 101st Veterans Day with the second annual Veterans Day 5K. The route starts on Sumter Street and features many monuments and landmarks in the Columbia area. The 5K is a fundraiser benefiting the Friends of Fisher House Columbia, a registered non-profit organization that provides temporary accommodations to veterans and their families while the veteran is receiving medical attention at Williams Jennings Bryan VA Hospital. Thus far, the race has raised over $2,000 and has more than 200 registered participants.

The following day, Veterans Day, is the 41st annual Veterans Day parade in Columbia. The parade will start at 11 a.m. and travels down Sumter Street. Known as one of the Southeast’s largest Veterans Day parades, it will feature a spectacular display of marching bands, military equipment and marching installations from around the state in a special tribute to veterans.

Around the Midlands area, many businesses are changing things up for Veterans who are out-and-about Monday. Local Publix’s are showing their appreciation by offering a 10% discount to the veteran’s grocery total, excluding alcohol and tobacco sales and money services. Panera is offering free meals to veterans at 28 locations between South Carolina and Georgia. Riverbanks Zoo is offering free admission Monday to active duty military and veterans all day. All discounts are available with a valid military ID, discharge papers or driver’s license with a veteran designation.