DEBERT – The air above Debert is going to be abuzz next month as the Snowbirds take to the sky.
Colin Stephenson, the executive director of Air Show Atlantic, said the Snowbirds will be stopping at the Debert Airport for a one-time performance on June 19, produced by the Nova Scotia International Air Show Association.
“Normally, Air Show Atlantic needs about 8, 9, 10,000 feet of runway, and 5,000 is the minimum distance the Snowbirds can operate on, so we hadn’t really considered the Debert area but for a small show,” said Stephenson. “The Snowbirds love shows on a Wednesday, especially in small communities they’ve never been to before.”
Stephenson said Air Show Atlantic, which hosts a production in Greenwood every year, was able to secure the U.S. Navy Blue Angels for their show this summer, and the only availability they had was Labour Day weekend.
“Now, the Snowbirds are in Toronto for Labour Day weekend, and it’s the first time in 40 years we won’t have the Snowbirds in Greenwood,” he explained.
“But they’re transitioning between New York and Quebec in June, and can stop here on a Wednesday.”
The show in Debert is the Snowbirds’ only Atlantic Canadian show in 2019.
He said the production’s partners – Truro Flying Club and Colchester County – are “so enthusiastic about this show.”
The gates will open at the Debert Airport at 2 p.m. on June 19 and feature a number of static displays such as the Royal Canadian Air Force, Canadian Army, Canadian Air Cadet League, and the gliding school.
“People will be able to get up close to the air craft and interact with the crews,” said Stephenson, adding the province’s new Cyclone helicopter will be in attendance, as well as a tactical armoured vehicle.
“It will be very interactive.”
After supper, that’s when the flying starts, with the Debert Gliding School confirmed for a demonstration. Following the demonstrations, that’s when the Snowbirds will take to the sky.
“They will do a walk-out and the crews will be introduced to the crowd,” said Stephenson. “The audience will learn some facts about the airplanes, and the airplanes will get to land in front of the crowd.”
Stephenson said the performance is on one of the longest days the year, so there will be plenty of daylight for the displays and performances.
Following the Snowbirds’ performance, Stephenson said the 11 pilots and crews have agreed to stay after for some autographs and meet with the fans.
Because the Snowbirds are transitioning between performances, Stephenson said there is no rain date planned.
“As long as the ceiling is high enough, we can do a full show. It’s when it’s really raining we have to worry,” he said.
Tickets for the performance are $12 a person in advance, with children under 12 admitted free. Tickets in advance can be purchased online for now. Tickets at the gate will be $15 per person (children under 12 still admitted free). Tickets can be purchased online at debert.airshowatlantic.ca.
Updates to the day’s events can be found on the Air Show Atlantic page on Facebook.