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Air Show Expected to Draw Big Crowd this Weekend

Posted on 6/25/2008

Jamestown Air Fest expected to draw big crowd this weekend
Toni Pirkl The Jamestown Sun
Published Wednesday, June 25, 2008

At 11 a.m. Saturday, pilots and parachutists take to the air at the Jamestown Air Fest in an extravaganza of dogfights, World War II bombing runs, aerobatics and skydiving.

That's the plan, but Mother Nature will decide the actual order of events, said Jon Cave, co-chair of the Air Fest Committee. At this point, the schedule has the B-17 bombing run happening in the early afternoon and the MiG-Fury warbird dogfight later. Interspersed will be four different aerobatic pilots bringing thrills and chills to the audience as they perform their daredevilry, with the show wrapping up at about 4:30 p.m.

"Everything depends on the weather," Cave said. "This schedule could be totally turned around."

Photo courtesy / Rick Senffner "Sentimental Journey," a restored B-17 Flying Fortress bomber from World War II, will fly into Jamestown Regional Airport this weekend for Air Fest.
Toni Pirkl Archive
For those who want to get an early start, buses will start shuttling air show goers from the Civic Center, Jamestown High School and Wilson Arena parking lots at 7 a.m. The buses will shuttle to and from the airport all day with a promised wait of no longer than 15 minutes.

"Transportation should not be an issue," Cave said. "We'll have buses on standby as well if there are too many people waiting for a ride."

Tickets for $10 will be sold in the Civic Center and high school lobbies and at the air show ticket booth. However, Cave encourages residents and visitors to avoid the hassle and the extra $2 by buying advance $8 tickets at Stop N' Go in Jamestown, Valley City and Carrington. Tickets in Jamestown are also available at Dan's Sooper Stop, Hugo's and KSJB/KISS Radio. In Fargo and Bismarck, tickets are available at Sta-Mart Stores. Cave also recommends show goers bring their own seating, either blankets or lawn chairs. No coolers will be allowed.

A pancake breakfast is being served by the Elkettes to pilots and performers from 7 to 9 a.m. Saturday at the airport. With a freewill contribution the breakfast is also open to the public.

For those arriving before the 11 a.m. air show start, Cave said there will be plenty to see and do on the ground. A toy show featuring a large variety of toys will be on display and for sale. Vendors will be selling everything from sunglasses to food. Face painting has just been added to the roster. Plus, a growing number of military and civilian aircraft will be on display.

"We keep adding vendors, activities and aircraft to the air show as time gets closer," Cave said Monday.

And for those needing music, the Warped Melon Blues Band will play from 9 to 10 a.m. as well as at other times throughout the day. The Drum and Bugle Corps will be performing at about 9:45 a.m.

During the air show, Cave warns "there will be some pyrotechnics. There will be some explosions and fireballs happening on the ground as part of some performances."

He also warns there will be a physical barrier that no one will be allowed to cross. The Federal Aviation Administration can stop the show or call it off if someone crosses that line, he said. And they will.

Friday is the arrival time for most of the aircraft. The B-17 Flying Fortress "Sentimental Journey" will do its flyover between 11:30 and noon. Once landed the WWII bomber will be on display at the airport.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the plane will be on display and available for touring from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Cave said the MiGs and Fury are planning a flyover between 12 and 12:30 p.m. before landing at the airport. He expects other aircraft to do flyovers as they arrive, probably starting about 10:30 a.m.

The only traffic that will be allowed at the airport Friday will be airport employees, airline traffic, vendors and those people who want to tour the B-17.

"We will be restricting traffic into the airport on Friday because it's setup day," he said.

Sun reporter Toni Pirkl can be reached at (701) 952-8453 or by e-mail at tonip@jamestownsun.com