By TIM KELLY
Things are looking up, Ocean City.
Just because this weekend’s Labor Day festivities mark the unofficial end to the summer season doesn’t mean there’s still not some summer left and certainly some great weather and things to do still to come in America’s Greatest Family Resort.
So keep looking up, visitors and residents, especially on Saturday, Sept. 14 and Sunday, Sept. 15 for the annual Ocean City Air Show weekend.
The free events have become a staple of what city officials call “season extenders” to encourage folks to come out and enjoy a weekend centered around all things aerobatic, as well as the beach, Boardwalk, restaurants and cafes, and downtown shopping.
“Air Show weekend is certainly something people visit for, and while they’re here to take advantage of everything else going on around town,” said Michele Gillian, executive director of the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce.
The centerpiece event of the weekend is on Sunday, Sept. 15 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the skies over the beach from Sixth to 14th streets for the Boardwalk Aerobatic Air Show.
“It’s a great chance to grab some beach chairs, take the whole family and relax on the beach to watch some of the most interesting aircraft and thrilling trick flying you’ll ever see,” Gillian said.
Some of the best stunt pilots in the world and aerobatic champions will be taking part, and there will be demonstrations of military aircraft as well.
“One of the unusual things about Ocean City is that we’re a very small town to have its own airport. More people are utilizing it to come into town, and it’s also a great venue to allow events like this,” Gillian said.
If you feel that you can’t wait for the Air Show, now in the sixth year of its current incarnation, you don’t have to.
The weekend kicks off with the Ocean City Airport Festival on Saturday, Sept. 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Municipal Airport, 26th and Bay avenues.
Concessions will be on sale, but parking and the festival itself are free. The event features music, kids activities and the main attraction, a display of vintage and unique aircraft dating from the early days of manned flight to World War II and beyond.
The day’s events are also an introduction for some to the other attractions of the neighborhood. They include the Municipal Golf Course, the Airport Diner, the Humane Society of Ocean City and the Ocean City Soccer Complex.
A myriad of aircraft will appeal to the novice air buff to the most knowledgeable enthusiasts. There will be classic planes, warbirds, antiques, ultralights and even homemade aircraft.
A highlight of the event will be a parachute jump by the precision skydiving squad, Team Fastrax.
On Sunday, following the two-hour air show itself, there will be a parachute pyrotechnic show to take place above the Seventh Street beach.
Members of Team Fastrax will jump once again, this time clutching multi-colored pyrotechnic devices to create a spectacular combination of formation jumping and fireworks.
The jump will be from 6,000 feet above the ocean, beach and Boardwalk. Skydivers will land on the beach just north of the Music Pier.
“This is a nice climax to the weekend,” Gillian said. “Spectators can enjoy the air show, get something to eat and return to the beach at a time when it’s not as crowded, sit back, relax and watch the jump, which proved to be very popular last year.”
For more information about the Airport Festival, Air Show or pyrotechnic jump, call city offices at 609-399-6111.
The Municipal Airport Festival kicks off the weekend events with displays of classic aircraft such as this vintage World War II vintage bomber.