Air show ready for take off

High River: Canadian Forces demonstration teams ready for aerobatic performances

By: Roxanne Blackwell

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jul 16, 2014 10:38 am

The Snowbirds perform at the Comox Armed Forces Day and Air Show on August 17, 2013. The demonstration team will be in High River on July 23.
The Snowbirds perform at the Comox Armed Forces Day and Air Show on August 17, 2013. The demonstration team will be in High River on July 23.
Sgt. Halina Folfas, 19 Wing Imagine

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The air show in High River on July 23 is being taken to new heights with the addition of the SkyHawks parachute demonstration team and the CF18 Hornets to the aerobatic performance of the Canadian Forces Snowbirds.

Visitors will be treated to the colourful displays at the Snowbirds maneuver into 50 different formations incorporating up to nine jets at a time, as well as the roaring engines of the CF18 Hornets and the iconic sight of the Canadian flag parachutes as the SkyHawks perform.

“A lot of people don’t realize this but this is very unique that we have all three Canadian Forces demonstration teams here,” said High River communications manager Joan Botkin. “That doesn't happen very often.”

The air show is being performed as a way to lift spirits in the town and organizers were lucky to find a gap in the Snowbirds busy summer performance schedule, as the team is generally booked two years in advance.

“We've never done it before, and we may never be able to do it again, it was just an opportunity that came our way,” Botkin said. “It was one of the ways of renewing the community spirit in High River giving us a boost, letting the world know that we are rebuilding and renewing our community and we are going to be able to start offering events like this. It’s a morale booster and something to celebrate.”

Tickets are being sold for $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and youth until July 22, and will increase to $20 and $10 on the day of the event if there are remaining tickets. Tickets can only be purchased in person in High River at Sobeys, Museum of the Highwood, Town office, and the Bob Snodgrass Recreation Complex and will not be available at the gate.

There will be 2,000 parking passes available for onsite parking, but they must also be purchased ahead of time. In addition, there will be offsite parking near the roundabout in High River between first Avenue and Centre Street and free shuttle service will be provided to the airport.

Gates will open at 4 p.m. and the show begins right at 6 p.m. due to sunlight restrictions and latecomers will not have access to the site, so Botkins encourages people to come early.

“There will be vendors there, we've got food trucks and static displays on the ground,” she said. “Nanton bomber command will be doing local heritage displays and they're going to have lots of artifacts, and local pilots will be there to talk about their planes so get there early because there's lots to do before the planes fly.”

In addition to all of the festivities on July 23, there will also be a picnic in George Lane Park the day before on July 22 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. where everyone is encouraged to come out and meet all of the pilots who will be there signing autographs.

Anyone who wishes to come to the picnic is encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and mosquito spray. Pre-made picnics for the event can be purchased at multiple restaurants and businesses in High River on July 22, and any remaining tickets for the air show can be purchased at the picnic as well. For more information on businesses providing picnic or additional details on the air show, visit


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