April 2, 2014 10:49:52 AM
Officials at Columbus Air Force Base are expecting this weekend's Wings Over Columbus to be the best event yet.
CAFB Chief of Public Affairs Sonic Johnson spoke to members of Columbus Rotary Tuesday and said more than a dozen different aircraft will be at the base this weekend as well as the famed Thunderbirds. In addition to a performance by the Thunderbirds, 10 aerial acts have been scheduled, Johnson said.
The Thunderbirds last performed in Columbus in 2010. Johnson said base officials began the process of bringing the famed pilots back to CAFB in July. CAFB was selected in January to host the Thunderbirds. Johnson noted that having such a performance was nothing short of miraculous.
"In this very difficult fiscal environment it's really amazing that they're coming," he said.
To help offset the cost of the show, organizations throughout the community have stepped up with donations, Johnson said.
"This is a true partnership because this community has kicked in just short of $100,000 to make this event happen," he said. "This is a record amount of money that we've had come through. I'm emotionally moved."
The purpose of the weekend event is to showcase the skills of the men and women in the United States Air Force and to inspire others to join, Johnson said.
"We'll have some things to entertain as well as keep children's attention span because essentially what we're here to do is to motivate young men and women to think about a military career."
The event is a family-friendly event with food vendors as well as entertainment for children, Johnson said.
The event is from 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The gates open at 10 a.m. Johnson encouraged people to come to the event early saying, "Early is better."
Weapons, including pocket knives, pets and coolers are not permitted. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.
Sarah Fowler covered crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.
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