OCEAN CITY – The first annual OC Air Show may have wrapped up earlier this month, but planning for the second annual OC Air Show is already underway, with plans for a weekend show in the works.
The OC Air Show was approved in January and put together in just a few months’ time through the efforts of Ocean City Special Events Coordinator John Sullivan and event organizer Bryan Lilley of Bryan Lilley, Inc.
Due to competing air shows and the novice-nature of the OC Air Show, a weekend show could not be secured for this year, but from the beginning Lilley promised the Mayor and City Council that the long-term goal would be to have a weekend air show featured in Ocean City.
It seems the success of the OC Air Show, particularly the positive media buzz about the event, has encouraged Lilley and Sullivan to aim for a weekend event for the 2009 OC Air Show, with the official dates set for June 6-7.
Holding the air show on a Saturday and Sunday could provide the opportunity to extend the event to Thursday and Friday as well. Discussions are also underway with the Delmarva Shorebirds to hold a ‘Salute to Services’ game in conjunction with the air show in 2009 with hopes to hold the game on Wednesday, June 3.
Securing a tentative date nearly a year out is important due to early Army strategic planning discussions, said Lilley, who explained that the Army has already begun planning their 2009 event schedules.
“We have been talking to both the USAF Thunderbirds and the USN Blue Angels about next year,” said Lilley this week. “The Blues fly-by while in-transit on our rehearsal day is a very rare happening so you can see there’s a high level of interest. We hope to have one of them as the headliner for 2009.”
Typically, both the Blue Angels and the T-Birds announce their schedules mid-December, said Lilley.
Negotiations are also underway to secure the F-22 Raptor demo from Langley Airforce Base.
Lilley sought the City Council’s permission prior to the Air Show in June to release the 2009 dates in post-show discussions, which was met with unanimous approval. Lilley explained at the time that using the weekend dates in post-show and sponsorship discussions would be beneficial to the 2009 show.