Danville's first air show in more than 30 years set to take flight

Danville's first air show in more than 30 years set to take flight

DANVILLE — It was 1987 when Mike Potter caught the Springfield Air Rendezvous and was blown away by the display of air power and aviation history.

Now, the manager of the Vermilion Regional Airport is thrilled to be bringing an air show to the Danville area — the first in more than 30 years.

"This will be fun for the whole family, and we hope to see a lot of people," Potter said of the Vermilion Regional Air Expo, set for Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 at the airport, 22633 N. Bowman Ave.

"There will be something going on all day long. So we invite people to come out, bring their lawn chairs and have a good time."

Mayor Scott Eisenhauer said he's "extremely" excited to welcome the show, "especially one of such high caliber.

"This is an air show similar to what you would find in larger cities drawing hundreds of thousands to see, and we will have them right here in our community. I certainly think this can generate an interest similar to what hot air balloons have brought to our residents, and also believe it will attract tourists from around the Midwest."

The event will feature an air show from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. both days, and live entertainment from the Cornfield Mafia and New Invaders from 4:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday.

Performers include: the Aeroshell Aerobatics Team in their T-6 Texans, Greg Koontz and the Alabama Boys, Shockwave Jet Truck, Jesse Panzer, U.S. Golden Knights Skydiving Team, Cliff Robinson, Red Knight and Rifle Airshows.

There will be a number of static displays and visits with the crews of a B-25 Mitchell Bomber and a Berlin Airlift C-54 Flying Museum; helicopter rides given by Sierra Aeronautics and biplane rides given by Cliff Robinson; a kid's play area, featuring aeronautical-themed inflatables; and RC (remote control) airplane simulators for kids of all ages to try inside the Cloud 9 banquet facility.

Gates will open each day at 10:30 a.m. They'll remain open until 11 p.m. Saturday and 6 p.m. Sunday.

People can purchase tickets in advance at a discount — $12 for adults and $8 for kids 4 to 11, with kids 3 and under getting in free.

There will be on-site parking, and shuttles running from designated areas. Parking is included in the price of admission.

People can also meet the performers at a meet-and-greet at 6 p.m. Sept. 29 at Temple Plaza in downtown Danville.

Potter said volunteers are still needed. To volunteer, call 217-442-4624.

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