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Snowbirds coming in three weeks


Canada’s premier aerobatics flying team—the Snowbirds 431 Air Demonstration Squadron—is set to take to the skies over the Fort Frances Airport on May 28 at 6 p.m.

The nine red, white, and blue jets, complete with smoke oil, will criss-cross the aerial stage in a captivating display that includes 55 separate maneuvers with no more than 10 seconds between sequences.

And the Snowbirds are sure to rekindle the spirit of air show fans on hand, co-organizer Bruce Caldwell noted yesterday.

“We’re looking forward to a great show,” he said. “And there will be lots of time afterwards for people to get autographs from the pilots.

“They will stay as long as is necessary to [please] the crowd.”

The Snowbirds, who are coming in from Muskoka, are slated to land at the airport May 26 after announcing their arrival to the district by “smoking” the towns of Atikokan, International Falls, Emo, and Fort Frances.

Caldwell said the team will spend May 27 fishing and golfing here, then gear up for their May 28 performance by chatting to students at Robert Moore and Huffman schools that morning.

Tickets to the Snowbirds are now on sale for $5 each at various locations around town, said Caldwell, adding that kids 12 and under will be allowed in free if accompanied by a paid adult.

The actual air performance will last between 25-35 minutes depending on whether it is a cloudy or a clear day, with the whole event, including autographs sessions, wrapping up by 8 p.m. or so.

As in past years, ticket holders will be instructed to park their vehicles in the field across from the airport, with no parking being allowed along the roadway at any point.

“Once they’ve parked in the field, they will be able to walk down the road and into the show centre area,” said Caldwell. “And there’s no extra fee for parking.

“Those who can’t walk will be delivered to the gate and then transported in,” he added.

All ticket holders are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs if they want to sit down during the performance. Darc and Dave’s BBQ Pit and Robin’s Donuts also will be on hand at show centre.

Meanwhile, if El Nino doesn’t keep the rain at bay for the Snowbirds performance here, the event will be a no-go and won’t be rescheduled, Caldwell noted.

“There’s no second chance. If it rains, the show is cancelled and there’s no refund,” he stressed. “It says that right on the ticket.”

This will be the Snowbirds fourth performance here since 1989.

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