The Barton County Commission Tuesday morning approved a request from the City of Great Bend to close a portion of Airport Road, SW 40 Ave., to accommodate a veterans’ parade Sept. 19. The event is part of the city’s 2015 Airfest which is taking place at the Municipal Airport Sept. 18-20.
Only the west side of the road (the south-bound lane) will be shut down from West Barton County Road to the airport between 6-6:45 p.m. with traffic being allowed in the other lane. The Road and Bridge Department will set up the barricades and the Sheriff’s Office will provide security.
Citizens will be asked to line the parade route on the road and wave American flags as veterans ride by, said County Administrator Richard Boeckman. Great Bend Community Coordinator Christina Hayes requested the closure.
The airport will welcome the warbirds for a three-day event that includes tours, airplane rides, historical displays, re-enactments and World War II era-appropriate entertainment. On the evening of Saturday, Sept. 19, there will be a prisoner of war/missing in action ceremony that will include the parade.
Boeckman said the theme for the event is “A Warbird Tribute: Honoring Those Who Served.” Hayes got the idea for the parade after watching the film “American Sniper,” and wanted to honor veterans before it is too late.
In a related matter, the commission also OKed a proclamation honoring the festivities. The proclamation “calls on all citizens of Barton County to join in the Airfest Veterans Honor Parade by lining the parade route and waving the American Flag as veterans pass.”
In other business Tuesday, the Barton County Commission:
• Appointed Brandi Gruber to the SouthWest Kansas Area Agency on Aging Sub-Regional Council. SWKAAA helps determine long-term needs and adequate programs for all senior citizens in Southwest Kansas. Appointees are required to attend four quarterly meetings per year, with mileage reimbursed. The uncompensated terms end in September 2018.