SCHENECTADY, N.Y (NEWS10) — With Halloween in the rearview mirror, preparations are underway for holiday celebrations in the Capital Region. Organizers of the Schenectady Holiday Parade are establishing a new veteran’s division in this year’s parade to recognize and honor those who have served the United States.

“Too often, many of our veterans are not able to participate in many of these events unless they are members of veterans organizations,” Schenectady County Legislator Holly Vellano said. “To ensure that everyone who has served in the military will be able to participate, we are opening this division up to all groups of veterans and individuals.”

The Veterans Division will march directly behind the 109th Airlift Wing of the Air National Guard. All 1,200 of its members will serve as this year’s grand marshal as a way of marking their 75th year of serving the community.

This year’s parade takes place at 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 18 in downtown Schenectady. The theme of this year’s event is New York State of Mind.