With the federal sequester grounding jets for flyovers and keeping military bands at homes, organizers of the “Salute Our Heroes KC” event have scrambled to make this year’s parade and concert a success.
Lee’s Summit residents are playing key roles in producing the free event celebrating Armed Forces Day which will be held May 18 in Kansas City.
Jennifer Gamble, owner of the The Main Event, is working on the event for a second year, organizing the parade.
Jerry Plantz, an Army veteran an former KMBC TV news producer and reporter, has organized entertainment.
The Men of Note, from the Lee’s Summit United Methodist Church at Second and Douglas streets will have featured performers at the free concert Saturday evening, May 18, and sing God Bless America in the finale.
The parade begins at 11 a.m. Also from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. there will be musicians performing at Washington Square Park, at Pershing Road and Grand Boulevard near Crown Center, followed by a break and then a concert.
Plantz said about 160 performers will be entertaining during the day, with a pause before the evening concert starting at 7 p.m. in the park.
David Page, the event’s organizer, said Plantz is integral to organizing the entertainment and concert portion, which he describes as a mini USO show.
Page said while the event is in Kansas City, they are trying to recruit invovlment from surrounding cities to grow it into a metropolitan area tradition.
But the sequester hurt them because they couldn’t get participation from military bands of color guards, Page said.
The event started last year as a welcome home to Iraq veterans.
For parade route and more information go to: http://www.saluteourheroes-kc.org.