AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – For the first time in more than two decades, the Augusta Regional Airport will have an air show the weekend of May 13th.
The last time Augusta had an air show was in 2000, and it caused a pretty major traffic jam. Organizers we spoke to said they’re hoping to avoid that this year.
“Part of the planning here is to look at our actual acreage and the layout of what we can actually accommodate as far as cars and then the number of people in those cars,” said Lauren Smith, the Assistant Director of Public Relations for Augusta Regional Airport. “So, I think this year we have a good plan established and I’m confident that things will run smoothly.”
Performers like the famous Air Force Thunderbirds will be in the show, and they’re looking forward to showing people of all ages what they’re all about.
“We always want to spread our mission,” said Major Eric Tise, Thunderbird 6. “It’s recruit, retain and inspire. The things we do – we practice all winter, we fly six days a week, two times a day, so we put a lot of work into our show and we’re hoping a lot of people come out to see it.”
The city is expecting around 26,000 people to attend the two-day event, which is significantly less than previous years.
But, organizers believe this has been a long time coming.
“There’s people starved for another air show to come out here,” said Chris Dirato, the Director of Public Relations for the Augusta Air Show. “So, obviously there were logistical things that we had to work through, but we’re happy to be here and we hope that this infuses the economy a little bit.”
According to Destination Augusta, the air show is estimated to raise over $170,000.
“They’re going to be staying in Augusta and visiting all the different restaurants and businesses,” Lauren Smith said. “As well as people coming from all over the region to see an air show. So we’re going to be having a lot of people coming out to watch this.”
And Major Tise, a Georgia native, said he’s just happy to be performing in the Garden City.
“We’re excited to be here, and we’re trying to put on the best show we can and we hope a lot of people come out and see it,” he said. “But yeah, any chance we get to come back to Georgia, I would love that being from here.”
The Air Show will be on Saturday and Sunday starting at 11:30 am. For more information on who will be performing and how to get tickets, click here.