|Written by Ted Sullivan|
|Tuesday, 02 June 2009 07:34|
Photography by Terry Mayer
"It was our best year ever," said Tom Morgan, AirFest executive director.
About 60,000 people attended AirFest this year, three times more than the 20,000 who attended in 2008, he said.
The draw was bigger than the 40,000 people who went to AirFest in 2005, the last time the Blue Angels performed, Morgan said.
AirFest had more attendants Sunday than it did Saturday, possibly because the forecast was better, he said. Typically, the crowd fades the second day.
About 350 volunteers and 202 pilots, support staff or mechanics helped Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport host a successful air show, Morgan said.
"It's like building a small city," he said.
AirFest helps raise money for the Janesville-based Wisconsin Aviation Academy, which teaches high school students how to fly for free or at discounted prices.
The academy will receive a six-figure donation this year, probably more than $150,000, Morgan said.
"I really do believe we have great community support," he said.
The weekend brought sunny skies and 70-degree temperatures both days, although Saturday morning was overcast.
Bob and Lisa Granger of Milton attended AirFest for the first time this year. They said their favorite performers were the Shockwave Jet Truck race and Rich's Incredible Pyro show.
The act wowed the crowd with loud booms and blasts of fire along the runway, they said.
"You just felt the heat," Bob said.
Jeremy and Kelly Brockwell of Janesville regularly attend AirFest. They sat on the airfield in their lawn chairs, sipping fresh-squeezed lemonade and soaking in the sun.
"It's a beautiful day, couldn't ask for better weather," Jeremy said.
They enjoyed the Blue Angels, but they missed other performers from previous years.
AirFest didn't have airplane wing walkers this year, they said, and it didn't have the Canadian Snowbirds.
But the Brockwells were still impressed with this year's AirFest performers, they said.
"It was good," Jeremy said. "We'll definitely be back again."
|Last Updated on Thursday, 04 June 2009 08:24|