Aviation fans will have the opportunity to kick-start their summer season when the annual Waterloo Air Show takes to the skies on June 2-3, two months earlier than last year’s show. This is the fourth year for the show, which has been held on a different weekend each year for one simple reason.
“We do it to accommodate the Snowbirds schedule,” said Diana Spremo, the event’s director of marketing and media relations. The nine-plane team is known internationally for their high-flying stunts and breathtaking aerial acrobatics.
“They tell us when they’re going to be in the region, and say ‘if you’d like us, this is when you’re going to have to put on the show.’”The show will include other returning acts such as the CF-18 jet fighter demonstration team, the Canadian Harvard aircraft formation team which took to the skies during World War II, and the T-33 Silver Star ‘Mako Shark’.
There is also going to be an exciting array of new acts this year, said Spremo, which includes OTTO the Helicopter to entertain children, and Red Bull racing pilot Pete McLeod who in 2009 became the first Canadian to participate in the elite air racing championship, finishing fifth overall in 2010.
Spremo also said that this year the air show will provide free on-site parking at the airport, unlike last year where they had to run shuttle buses to ferry spectators to off-site parking.
“People can just park and walk to the show site and not have to deal with shuttle buses,” she said, adding the walk could still be up to half a kilometre – depending how early fans get arrive.
Last year’s event saw between 20,000-25,000 spectators, a significant drop from the 40,000 that attended two years ago, and Spremo attributed that drop to the poor weather.
“On the Sunday of our airshow was the same day as the tornado in Goderich,” she said. “We managed to get most of the planes up, but we had to call them down because of the poor weather and it was coming in very quickly.”
Tickets will be on sale soon, and this year the air show will charge for seniors and children under 10 years old, when in previous years their entry was free. Spremo said that was to give them a better idea of how many people are attending.
Gates will open at 10 a.m. both days of the event, with the show starting at 1 p.m. and there will be food vendors, static displays with airplanes and their crews available for fans to interact with, and there will be autographs and merchandise available.
“We do encourage people to come spend the day with us. We’re trying to create more of a festival atmosphere.”
Visit www.waterlooairshow.com for more information.