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Gov. Greg Abbott invites Austin Veterans Parade Foundation to host rally at Texas Capitol

The Austin Veterans Parade Foundation said it is unable to hold a Veterans Day parade this year due to the City of Austin's COVID-19 restrictions.

AUSTIN, Texas — The Austin Veterans Parade Foundation says it cannot hold a parade this Veterans Day, Nov. 11. But Gov. Greg Abbott offered another option.

The foundation said that, due to COVID-19 restrictions from Austin Public Health, this year's Veterans Day parade is canceled. The foundation said that the restrictions required that all participants and spectators either be vaccinated or have a current negative COVID-19 test.

"This is something that we could not do as we anticipated some 30,000 attendees to the parade. We are hopeful that in 2022, the restrictions on public gatherings will be back to normal," the foundation said on its website.

RELATED: UT Austin ranked best Texas school for veterans

The foundation said in lieu of the parade, it is working with the City of Austin and the Austin Veterans Commission to dedicate the Veterans Park on Nov. 11.

But Gov. Greg Abbott had a different suggestion. The governor on Nov. 9 invited veterans with the foundation to host a rally on the south steps of the Texas State Capitol.

"The City of Austin's overreaching COVID-19 requirements have placed an undue burden on large events like the 2021 Veterans Day Parade, forcing the Austin Veterans Parade Foundation to cancel their annual event," Abbott said in a statement. "That is why I am inviting the Austin Veterans Parade Foundation and military veterans to host a rally on the south steps of the the Texas State Capitol to celebrate our nation's heroes. The State of Texas will always support our military veterans, and we are committed to ensuring that the traditions of Veterans Day are kept alive in the capital city."

On Tuesday, the Austin Veterans Day Parade declined the invitation thanks to its commitment to dedication of the Austin Veterans Park:

"The Austin Veterans Parade Foundation is very appreciative of Governor Abbott’s invitation to celebrate Veterans Day at the Texas Capitol.  We must respectfully decline as we have already committed to dedication of the Austin Veterans Park on Thursday, November 11th.  The Park is located at 2200 Veterans Dr. in Austin and the dedication will take place at 0930.  The Veterans Park will be the only event that the Austin Veterans Parade Foundation will be involved in this year.

"Like so many other organizations that have had to cancel their event, the Austin Pride Parade, the Bat Festival and Pecan Street Festival, the Austin Veterans Parade Foundation determined that the unworkable Covid 19 rules imposed by the Austin Public Health Department were unattainable and too costly to deal with.  So, the difficult and painful decision was made to cancel.

"It is our hope that we can have our Veterans Day parade and celebration next year and that everyone will stay safe on this Veterans Day!"

WATCH: Veterans Day 2020: Central Texans pay their respects 


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