Vandalia’s 41st air show parade expected to draw crowd

If motorists drive through Vandalia today, they likely will find chairs along the road in anticipation of a big event tonight.

The 41 Annual Vandalia-Butler Chamber of Commerce Air Show Parade kicks off promptly at 6:55 p.m. today, and parade goers stake out their spots up to the Tuesday before the parade.

“This is a ridiculously popular parade,” said Rich Hopkins, Vandalia communications manager. “They’ll set up their chairs in the spot they want, and those chairs will hold their spot.”

This year’s parade will have more than 90 registered units that include the Vandalia Optimist Club, First Light Church of Vandalia, Montgomery County Environmental Services, St. John’s Lutheran Church and Minister Oktoberfest.

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Children in attendance will get a thrill when they see the famous Antioch Shrine unit.

The parade grand marshals are World War II veterans Marion Adams, Albert L. Carr and James H. “Pee Wee” Martin.

Adams, Carr and Martin all served in the D-Day invasion 75 years ago. They, plus Lawson Adkins, will be honored tonight with the Ford Oval of Honor by David Eisenhower, grandson of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The three men will be presented with a key to the city of Vandalia by Mayor Arlene Setzer and will receive an award from the chamber.

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The route of the parade is from National Road at James Bohanan Drive and right on Dixie Drive to Inverness Avenue. The roads will be closed from 6:45 p.m. until the end of the parade, which lasts about two hours.

If anyone wishes to register for next year’s parade, they can do so August 1 or as soon as the Vectren Dayton Air Show announces dates for next year. Visit the chamber’s website for steps to register.

“Any interested community group, high school marching band, alumni band, youth or civic organization, military group, car club or specialty apparatus can print out the registration form and submit it as directed,” said Will Roberts, president of the chamber.

“Any organization from anywhere in the Miami Valley region is welcome to participate, and they can participate for free.”

The Dayton Vectren Air Show is Saturday and Sunday.

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