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Vanguard Squadron to flyover Fourth of July Parade

The Vanguard Squadron will perform a flyover just before the Lennox Fourth of July Parade, weather permitting. The parade begins at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 4th.

The Vanguard Squadron is a US based ethanol powered aerobatic team that has been dazzling crowds since 1985 with their exciting formation performances.

What makes the flyover even more unique for Lennox is that the planes were built right here in Lennox by a local man.

The Lennox Independent featured a story on Gayle Wilts and the planes he built in 1984. Wilts is a 1961 Lennox High School graduate.

Wilts fulfilled his dream of becoming a pilot and took it one step further by building airplanes. In 1984 he was well into building his second RV-3 airplane, which would later go on to become a part of the Vanguard Squadron.

“I like to see things go together,” Wilts had said in 1984, “There are a lot of things I have to design myself (when building the RV-3) and that’s the part that takes the longest and is the most challenging. It’s like building a precut puzzle.”

Wilts completed the first RV-3 for himself and then helped three Sioux Falls pilots build planes of their own. The planes were built for air shows and Wilts said then, that he and his partners will do formation aerobatics with four aircraft.

That idea blossomed into what is now well-known as the Vanguard Squadron. Although Wilts has retired from piloting the airplanes, he still helps out with scheduling for the Vanguard Squadron.

The Vanguard Squadron has been ethanol powered since 1993. Ethanol adds power and performance to the Squadron’s aircraft without any major engine modifications. The team has over 3,000 flight hours using 100% ethanol. The Squadron shares their love for flying and raising ethanol awareness by flying airshows across the country. The Squadron flies 10-15 airshow events each year.

The Lennox Old-fashioned Fourth of July Parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. Parade line up will be at the Sinning Sports Complex on the corner of HWY 17 & HWY 44 (Sinning Sports Complex). The parade route for 2019 is shown below in blue. The route is: North on Main St., East on 1st, South on Cherry, East on 6th and the parade will end at 6th and Hwy 17 (Catholic Church).

As a reminder, there is no parking on Main Street from Hwy 44 to 4th Ave. or the parade route on First Ave. and Cherry Street.

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