LIMA — Allen County Veterans Council President Dan Ross and the rest of the board wanted to make sure this year’s Memorial Day Parade in Lima was special.
They received the official word Friday that a special attraction would make it so.
This year’s parade will feature a flyover by two U.S. Air Force F-16 jets. The flyover is in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Air Force.
Preliminary plans have the two jets scheduled to fly the parade route down Main Street from Northland Plaza to Town Square with an estimated arrival time of 10:30 a.m.
“Memorial Day commemorates those that have been lost while in service,” Ross said. “It helps us to focus on awareness and veterans issues.”
Ross said they are still welcoming floats and participants for the parade. The parade had a little more than 100 entries last year, a number they hope to surpass this year. Interested parties can call 419-222-4355.
Ross said records were lost when the council moved out of Memorial Hall, but it is known the parade has been going on every year since 1976. The parade will also feature two local people as marshals.
Retired Air Force Col. Gregory Sellers, a 1981 Lima Senior graduate who now lives in Cincinnati, will be the military officer marshal, while Lima resident and retired Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Larry Stepek will be the senior enlisted grand marshal.
In addition to the many military-themed floats, Ross said many local school marching bands and military organization color guards will also participate. Other exhibits and displays are also welcomed, but political marchers cannot distribute political material, Ross said.
Immediately after the parade, a commemorative wreath-laying will occur at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1275 at 124 E. Elm St.
“Our main reason to exist is to help our veterans and remember their sacrifices if they gave their life,” Ross said. “We embrace all people who want to come out and be part of the parade. We are hoping for great weather.”
Reach Lance Mihm at 567-242-0409 or on Twitter @LanceMihm.