The air festival is coming back to Cape Girardeau! Join us on June 28-29 and join us at the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport. The theme for this year’s Air Festival is Heroes and Legends: A Salute to Those Who Serve, honoring those who serve our country.
This year’s fantastic Air Festival performers include the Aerostar Aerobatic Team , Mike Rinker, Randy Ball in an MiG-17F, Kent Pietsch in an Interstate Cadet, and Bill Leff with his T-6 Texan. There will also be a Tuskegee Airmen exhibit and large mobile movie screen, parachute demonstrations, Paul Stender and his jet-powered school bus, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) SmashZone Mobile Tour and an Air Force Rapid Strike simulator.
The Aerostar Aerobatic Team’s shows combine graceful aerobatics in the Yak 52 TW, which is a former Soviet-designed aerobatic trainer, followed by opposing passes that will make everyone hold their breath. Kent Pietsch will do a comedy routine while flying his Jelly Belly plane (for all the candy lovers out there), and Bill Leff will show off barrel-rolls and other impressive aerial stunts, during both the day and night time shows.
The Arizona Commemorative Air Force wing will be bringing a B-25 bomber called “Maid in the Shade,” which arrives prior to the show on June 24. Maid in the Shade will be stationed at the airport for anyone wanting to come out and tour the plane. Maid in the Shade flew 15 missions during World War II.
Rides on the B-25 bomber will be available for a fee. Patrons attending the air festival will be entered into a drawing for one of the rides on the bomber on Sunday, June 30. The attendees will give their ticket to a designated person to be entered in the drawing.
Helicopter rides will also be available for purchase by festival attendees.
On Friday, June 28, the gates will open at 5 p.m. and the opening ceremonies begin at 6:30 p.m. Special to the evening festivities will be a fireworks display, hangar dance, and a mass sky lantern launch with a military and veterans tribute. This is the first Air Festival that has included the mass sky lantern launch and tribute.
On Saturday, the gates will open at 10 a.m. and opening ceremonies begin at noon. Activities wiill include all of the performers, a parachute demonstration, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, and extrication techniques by the City of Cape Girardeau Fire Department.
According to Airport Manager Bruce Loy, the fact of having the show on the evening of the 28th is a special show; the sky lantern launch and the fireworks display are two things to add to the uniqueness of the evening’s events.
Since the air festival has been going on for more than 20 years, Loy feels that air shows are a very good way to “showcase aviation, as well as a great promotion tool for the airport and to help support our military.” It’s a great family event, as well.
If a weekend of family-friendly fun sounds good to you, get your tickets here or the day(s) of the show! Advanced tickets will be $5 for ages 7 through adults, and children under 6 can enter the show for free. Tickets at the gate will be $5 for ages 7-11, $7 for ages 12 and up, and age 6 and under enter for free. Premium seating tickets are available online only and are $15, which includes seating and tables in a shaded tent, with unlimited soft drinks and snacks. Tickets are available online, at the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport, and at Rhodes 101 and Mercato di Rodi locations.