Warbirds museum celebrates ‘Greatest Generation’ at annual event; photo gallery

Western Sky Warbird Aviation Museum hosts its seventh annual “Wings and Wheels” celebration at the St. George Regional Airport, St. George, Utah, May 18, 2019 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — During the seventh annual “Wings and Wheels” event in St. George Saturday, crowds honored the nation’s veterans with a mix of activities.

Classic cars on display during the Western Sky Warbird Aviation Museum’s seventh annual “Wings and Wheels” celebration at the St. George Regional Airport, St. George, Utah, May 18, 2019 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

The day’s festivities were held at the Western Sky Warbird Aviation Museum located at the St. George Regional Airport from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This year’s event coincides with the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Saipan, Guam and many other significant battles of World War II.

Vintage aircraft and classic cars were showcased throughout the venue, wherein attendees perused food and merchandise vendors, viewed military artifact displays and went for Warbird rides. Guests also enjoyed aerial entertainment during the celebration when classic aircraft performed a series of flybys.

The festivities are meant to encourage interest in the Western Sky Aviation Warbirds Museum while also highlighting its need for volunteers and donations to help maintain, repair and restore retired military aircraft, museum volunteer Kirk Lawrenz said.

Retired military aircraft on display at Western Sky Warbird Aviation Museum’s seventh annual “Wings and Wheels” celebration at the St. George Regional Airport, St. George, Utah, May 18, 2019 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

“There is an annual inspection of the aircraft and costs to restore and maintain them, which isn’t cheap,” Lawrenz said.

A number of these aircraft were on display Saturday, including a British Provost and a MiG-17/F-5 fighter jet. The event also showcased a MiG-15 flown by the Chinese during the Korean War that sports several bullet strikes and a T-38 Talon, which is a super-sonic jet, Lawrenz said.

Artifacts of fighter pilots and planes of yesteryear filled the museum hangar, including model planes, flight suits and helmets and other items preserved from engagements in wars and conflicts during the past century.

Many of the items displayed Saturday represent a rich military history for those who lived and fought with purpose, carefully preserved by volunteers to be enjoyed for generations to come.

A military aircraft performs a flyby during Western Sky Warbird Aviation Museum’s seventh annual “Wings and Wheels” celebration at the St. George Regional Airport, St. George, Utah, May 18, 2019 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

The celebration will close with the museum’s 7th Annual 1940s-style hangar dance, taking place from 6-10 p.m. Prizes will be awarded for the best 1940s costumes and vintage aircraft on display.

The Southern Utah Rebel Jazz Band will play hits from the stars of the World War II era as St. George Swing Dance performs 1940s-style dances, including the always-popular “Andrews Sisters” routine. Tickets for the dance are $25 at the door.

Read more: Have fun and honor ‘Greatest Generation’ at WWII-themed hangar dance in St. George 

The Western Sky Aviation Warbird Museum is open to the public at the St. George Municipal Airport daily Thursday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Volunteers to help operate it are always needed.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.  

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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