A week of Veterans Day celebrations got off to a big start with the annual Tri-Valley Veterans Day Parade in downtown Pleasanton on Sunday.

There were marching bands -- including the Army's 191st Band, the Piedmont Bagpipe Band and bands from Foothill High School and the Oakland Military Institute -- color guards, marching veterans from every branch of the service, helicopters., flag wavers, and more. This year's grand marshal was Danny Soria, a World War II veteran and Pleasanton resident.

Other events are planned in Danville, Livermore and San Ramon.

Nov. 7

Celebrate Veterans Day at Las Positas College in Livermore. At 10:30 a.m. in the Mertes Center for the Arts,. Retired Marine Mike Dowling will speak about being on the front lines in Iraq with his dog, Rex. Dowling has written a book titled "Sergeant Rex: The Unbreakable Bond Between a Marine and His Military Working Dog."

Dowling's talk will be followed with a dog-handling demonstration by Livermore Police Officer Al Grajeda and his canine partner Fin.

At 9:30 a.m. a Vietnam-era Huey helicopter will fly in. The National Anthem will follow, at 10 a.m. A noon barbecue is free for veterans, $5 for others. Cake-cutting is at 1 p.m. The Huey leaves at 2 p.m. and taps will be played at 5 p.m. The campus is at 3000 Campus Hill Drive. The event and parking is free.

Nov. 9, 10 & 11

  • Veterans Day Open House -- 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. Sunday and Monday. An event to honor veterans and pay tribute to the community for supporting the new Veterans Memorial Building for the San Ramon Valley. The building will be open with expanded military displays, including uniformed mannequins, field gear, military vehicles, weapons and living history personnel as well as staff from veterans service organizations to answer questions. Veterans Memorial Building, 400 Hartz Ave., Danville.

    Nov. 11

  • Veterans Day -- 10 a.m. There will be a special tribute video/slide show honoring Vietnam veterans. The program begins at 11 a.m. and features speaker: Col. Allen Crluz, USMC (Ret), Vietnam war veteran, and includes music by the San Ramon Valley High School's music groups with participation by Scouts and veterans service organizations. There will also be recognition of those who served in all eras. San Ramon Valley High School Performing Arts Center, 501 Danville Blvd., Danville.