COCOA BEACH, Fla. — The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing is just days away, and the Space Coast is set to mark the occasion with a weekend full of celebrations.
- Astronaut Parade set for July 13 in Cocoa Beach
- Event celebrates the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 Moon Landing
- 13 former astronauts will be riding in the parade
Cocoa Beach is holding an Astronaut Parade on Saturday.
The parade runs through downtown and will feature 13 former astronauts and family members of those who donned NASA spacesuits.
Meanwhile, for workers whose dedication made the moon landing possible, the weekend also means a get together. On Sunday some 600 of them will gather for the Apollo 11 Anniversary/Kennedy Space Center workers reunion.
The event is a chance to reflect on when their effort culminated into one of humankind's greatest achievements.
Bill Heink had a front row seat to history. He and his team were responsible for fueling up the powerful Saturn V rocket that launched the Apollo 11 crew to moon 50 years ago.
"It was like, my goodness, we did it," Heink said. "No way you can forget that final moment when Neil came down that ladder and set foot on the moon."
"We were all part of a great, great effort," said Roy Tharpe, who was on the launch team for all of the Apollo missions.
He and the world held their breath as Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon on July 20, 1969.
"For me to be on that launch team, it still gives me goosebumps," Tharpe said. "I would go back and take that console in the Launch Control Center today."
Heink says he expects lots of laughter and tears at the reunion.
"You will see things like 'Oh my goodness, I haven't seen you in 30 years', and then there are bear hugs going on," he said.
The parade will take place 9:30 a.m. through 11:30 a.m. on July 13. The parade route starts at 4th Street North and proceeds down Orlando Avenue, ending at 1st Street South.
The after party will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.