Much of this event has been canceled due to flooding at Jefferson City Memorial Airport. See Airshow at Jefferson City airport canceled as river rises for an update.
With the Memorial Day weekend airshow and parade nearing, local and organization officials are planning several activities to not only entertain attendees but also honor veterans.
The 31st annual airshow will run 9 a.m.-4 p.m. May 25-26 at the Jefferson City Memorial Airport.
The free airshow will feature multiple static military aircraft, aerial shows and parachute jumpers. It will also have several first-time features — U.S. Air Force Wings of Blue Skydiving Team, a Flight of the Stearman four-ship aerial demonstration, and UH-1B "Huey" helicopter and T-6A Texan II two-ship aerial demonstrations, among other items, according to a news release.
"It's going to be a great two days and shows, all of it dedicated to remembering our veterans," Jefferson City Operations Division Director Britt Smith told the Jefferson City Public Works and Planning Committee on Thursday.
Memorial Day Weekend-Salute to Veterans Corporation, a nonprofit that hosts the Salute to Veterans airshow, will host a private show for local veterans May 24, Smith said.
This year's theme pays tribute to the 75th anniversary of D-Day — when Allied forces invaded Normandy during WWII by landing on the beach on June 6, 1994.
"It's a veterans-dedicated show with an airshow," Smith said. "The airshow is not what the focus is. The focus is on the sacrifices our veterans have made."
Attendees can park in the state parking lots in the Millbottom — between the Missouri State Archives, at 600 W. Main St., and the Harry S Truman State Office Building, 301 W. High St.
The city's Transit Division will use JeffTran buses to shuttle attendees to the airshow for free, he added.
Memorial Day Parade
There will also be a parade in downtown Jefferson City at 10 a.m. May 27, Memorial Day.
Parade Chair Nicole Slusser said the parade will include the Kansas City Chiefs and Boys & Girls Club of Jefferson City drumlines, St. Louis Cardinals mascot Fredbird, Clydesdale horses, trucks from Wreaths Across America and the National VFW semi-truck, among other items.
Jim Shipley, a WWII Tuskegee airman from Tipton, will be the grand marshal for the parade, Slusser said.
Slusser said she wanted to make this parade "new and interesting."
"I like to think outside of the box a little bit," she said. "I was trying to think of different things I would like to see in a parade that we haven't had here."
The parade will start near the intersection of West High Street and Missouri Boulevard and travel east on West High Street to Adams Street before going over to East Capitol Avenue. The parade will then go west on East Capitol Avenue, march around the Capitol building and connect back at the intersection of West High Street and Missouri Boulevard.
A new feature Slusser hopes to add along the parade route is "Veterans Hill," a spot where anyone with mobility issues can watch the parade.
Those interested in volunteering to help with the parade can contact Slusser at 573-353-5466 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
"It's quite the undertaking, but we're excited," Smith said. "We're hoping for a great turnout."
The Salute to Veterans event attracts 10,000-35,000 people every year, Smith previously said.
Jefferson City signed an agreement with Memorial Day Weekend-Salute to Veterans Corporation in September. Columbia normally hosts the airshow, but due to construction at the Columbia Regional Airport, the corporation asked Jefferson City to host it this year.