AirFest set for Memorial Day weekend
Southern Wisconsin AirFest seeks volunteers for the May 25-27 event.
Two meetings will be held for those interested at 6 p.m. on Wednesdays, April 18 and 25, at ABC Supply headquarters, 1 ABC Parkway, Beloit.
For more information or to buy tickets, visit swairfest.org or call (815) 420-7923.
JANESVILLE AirFest will return to a May weekend this year with lower ticket prices the option of camping onsite for the first time.
The Black Diamond Jet Team is among the acts announced Thursday for the May 25-27 event—Memorial Day weekend—at the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport. Also expected are the U.S. Army Golden Knights, a U.S. Air Force F-16, a P-51 Heritage Flight, Susan Dacy and "Big Red," and a jet-powered truck.
According to the Black Diamond Jet Team website, the group is a seven-ship aerobatic, civilian-owned jet team based in Lakeland, Fla. That's a slight departure from past performers.
"Normally people are used to seeing military jet teams," said Tim Morgan, executive director for AirFest.
Another change is the return to a May event date. Morgan said last year's September show deviated from its usual schedule, but the event is back on Memorial Day weekend this year and next.
"We're going to try to make the end of May our dates for a long time to come," he said. "We hope that helps people in planning."
Organizers are hoping for a crowd of 20,000 to 30,000 after a disappointing draw of about 14,000 spectators last year, Morgan said.
"We think the attendance should be pretty strong," he said.
Past events featuring the Blue Angels have approached 40,000 people, Morgan said.
AirFest raised ticket prices last year, but Morgan said, "It just didn't work out well."
The event will return to pricing similar to previous years—$10 in advance for adults/$15 at the gate and $6 in advance for children ages 6-12/$10 at the gate.
Advanced tickets are good for admission either day of the event, Morgan said.
"We believe very much in the value of AirFest," he said. "It's hard for spectators to find anything of this magnitude for any less."
New this year will be onsite camping for trailers and motor homes. A $100 campsite includes four general admission tickets to each day's show.
"We get asked almost every year … we're going to give it a shot," Morgan said.
Organizers also are lining up semi-local bands to perform after the air show Friday night.
"People can plan on sticking around and making a night of it," Morgan said.