The skies over Breslau will be full of thunder from the roar of fighter jets during the third annual Waterloo Air Show at the Region of Waterloo International Airport Aug. 20 and 21. For the first time since the air show returned to the region in 2009, all three Canadian Forces demonstration teams will be present this year,
including the SkyHawks Parachute Team, the CF-18 Hornets and Snowbirds.
These acts will be joined by other new acts such as the U.S. Air Force’s F-16 Fighting Falcon as well as vintage airplanes like the P-40N a WWII fighter, from Vintage Wings of Canada in Gatineau, Que. and a T-33
Thunderbird, a longtime Canadian military aircraft now retired and housed at the Breslau airport.
Mike Wiskus, the 2002 U.S. National Aerobatic champion, will also be attending the show for the first time, performing aerobatics during the show.
Returning performers include Kitchener native Wayne Hadath, who will show off his racing F1-Rocket airplane, and Kent Pietsch and his three-act-in-one aerial comedy routine, which includes landing his plane on an RV.
“We have a great lineup slated for this year and it will be better than other years,” said Diana Spremo, a spokesperson for the Waterloo Air Show.
This year’s ground display will also be the largest to date with additional aircraft parked on the tarmac all weekend long, allowing people to see them up close, speak to the pilots who fly them, take photos, and in some cases climb aboard.
“We want people to come to the air show, but the public should know there is a lot more to do than just watch the skies,” said Spremo. “The event makes for a great day’s outing it is very family friendly. We have a show in the air and on the ground.”
There will be an educational component, with displays and a kid’s amusement area and some interactive activities for families to partake in, including the Kitchener Rangers shootout as well as performer autographs, food, and a beer garden.
“We are creating a festival atmosphere at this year’s event,” said Spremo.
Last year’s attendance of 40,000 was a big jump from inaugural 25,000.
“We are planning a grand fabulous show and if the weather is good we should see the attendance numbers go up again.”
Organizers of the show want to remind people rainy weather shouldn’t be a deterrent, as performers have low shows and high shows.
“If it is cloudy or a little bit of rain, performers still perform their low shows. Don’t let a little bit of rain scare you away,” said Spremo.
With thousands of visitors passing through the gates over the two days it is the fascination people have with aviation that brings them to show, she posited.
“I think it comes down to accessibility: people don’t have a lot of opportunities to see aircraft, especially military jets up close. These are big machines with a lot of power that people are fascinated with.”
Gates open at 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., with the air show running from 1-4 p.m. For more information, visit www.waterlooairshow.com.