Skyla Jewell-Hammie MLIVE
Air show, new interactive aviation experience at Muskegon County Airport this weekend
July 7, 2023
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  • The inaugural Wings Over Muskegon Air Show with opportunities to board a flyable warbird aircraft will touch down at Muskegon County Airport this weekend. 

    The inaugural Wings Over Muskegon Air Show with opportunities to board a flyable warbird aircraft will touch down at Muskegon County Airport this weekend.

    Organizers say this new event is designed to provide an interactive experience much different than the former Muskegon Air Fair that occasionally featured the U.S. Navy’s famous Blue Angels. The event is in the same location, 99 Sinclair Dr. in Muskegon.

    Wings Over Muskegon is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, July 8-9. However, what’s billed as an aviation experience that is part of the event, consisting of four flyable aircraft rides from the Yankee Air Stadium, begins Friday, July 7 and also runs through Sunday.

    The Yankee Air Museum, in conjunction with the Muskegon County Airport and its management company, F3 Airport, initially announced the new event in December with the preliminary lineup.

    “We’re super excited,” Brenda Kerfoot, communications coordinator at Yankee Air Museum, told MLive/Muskegon Chronicle. “Once the announcement was made, there was so much support. You could tell that this community was really desiring to have an air show back in Muskegon.”

    Wings Over Muskegon will provide the community an opportunity to fly on Yankee Air Museum’s B17, B25, and C47 warbird aircraft and the Huey Helicopter. Ticket prices range from $25-$50.

    The three-day event is introducing the community to a new concept at the Muskegon County Airport. which was previously home to The popular Muskegon Air Fair operated for 23 years, holding the last show in 2006.

    “The former Muskegon Air Fair used to do some helicopter rides but we never did it to this extent, to have these World War II airplanes which are in immaculate flying condition and just very rare,” Kerfoot said.

    Visitors will be able to head into the site once gates open at 9 a.m. Friday, July 7, with a teaser to the official show starting at 11 a.m. and the main performance kicking off from 1-3 p.m. The show on Saturday, July will consist of the same schedule and lineup of performers.

    There will be plenty of aircraft performers taking flight during the show, including The USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II, areobatic champion Rob Holland, The Hooligan Flight Team’s T-34 “Mentor” and L-17 “Navion,” Swamp Fox’s P-51D Mustang, Folds of Honor Biplane, Randy W. Ball Fighterjets, Jim Beasley’s North American P-51D Mustang, and the Smoke-N-Thunder Jet Car.

    Additionally, there will be four air adventure rides for people to hop on for an experience like no other, including the C-47 “Hairless Joe” troop transport, WWII bombers B-17 and B-25 and the Huey Helicopter.

    Kerfoot said the event will be more of an intimate setting. She said almost the entire performer lineup has never been to Muskegon before.

    “To show the community what’s happening now in the air show world is very exciting,” she said. “It’s one of those things where you plan, plan, plan. And now we can’t wait to have it all come together and let people experience it.”

    The new event also focuses on accessibility for attendees and the surrounding community by implementing parking on-site instead of shuttling people from another location. Tickets range from $15 to $35.

    Kerfoot said city officials and local law enforcement came to the conclusion that offering the event and parking all in one area keeps it hassle-free without closing down any roads or vacating homes due to the noise.

    “It was somewhat disruptive to the community that lived around the airport,” she said. “The site kind of twisted to accommodate the Blue Angels, and that’s why we had just shifted to so much off-site parking.”

    Attendees will also be able to enjoy reserved seating options for those who want something a little more glamorous than the usual lawn chair and blanket from home. Various food trucks and bouncy house activities will also be available for the whole family to enjoy.

    Kerfoot touts the event as a fantastic weekend, intending to bring nearly 9,000 people to the Muskegon County Airport.

    “It’s just phenomenal,” she added. “I think everything’s aligning to have a fantastic weekend, and we’re excited to bring it back to Muskegon. You will see some things that have never been presented, as far as world-class air show performers go.”

    Organizers are reminding attendees that ticket sales are only available online. Those looking to drive up on the day of the event without purchasing a ticket online beforehand will be turned away.