Air show added to homecoming

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 25, 2010

An Air Show featuring “aerobatic” stunts is the latest event to be confirmed for the weekend of Nov. 13, when Andalusia will celebrate Homecoming 2010 in conjunction with Alabama’s Year of Downtowns and Small Towns.

South Alabama Regional Airport co-administrator Jed Blackwell held a planning meeting Wednesday with stakeholders and representatives of the media to begin work on the details.

The South Alabama Regional Airport (SARA) is contracting with David Schultz Airshows to put the event together. While the company has not yet put together the schedule of events, Blackwell said a similar event planned in Tuscaloosa in May features a “typical” David Schultz Show.

That event includes performances by the U.S. Army Golden Knights and Black Daggers, a U.S. Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt II demonstration; Tim Weber and Greg Poe 2-ship Aerobatics; Greg Koontz and the Alabama Boys; Gordo Sanders “Roll Tide” T-6 Aerobatics; a Warbird Flight including B-25, P-51, SBD, F4U, YAK9 and T-28 aircraft; U.S. Army Special Operations Black Daggers demonstration; and the Army Aviation Heritage Sky Soldiers Cobra demo team, among others.

Among the committee members is John Roberts, a local pilot who is familiar with air shows. Roberts said the event could easily draw 10,000 to 15,000 people to the area.

In addition to a day of air events, the committee plans to have car and motorcycle shows at the airport, as well as musical entertainment and food vendors. The event is expected to be free to the public.

Blackwell initially tried to secure the Navy’s Blue Angels for the event. While that didn’t work out for 2010, he said there’s a good chance they’ll be scheduled for a 2011 show if the first one goes well.

The air show is part of four days of special events that will begin on Thurs., Nov. 11, with a Veterans Day program and parade. Details of other events will be finalized in April, but are likely to include a musical revue of Andalusia’s history, a street dance, a gala, events in local schools and church homecomings.

Others attending Wednesday’s committee meeting included Donald Barton, Billy Bimbo, Robert Boothe, Renee Bullard, Don Childre, John Givhan, Mark Ingram, Dennis Meeks, Angela Petty, Sgt. Stephen Ramsey, Lee Reaves, and Patty Singleton-Seay.