Snowbirds To Fly Over Ocean City Next Week

Snowbirds To Fly Over Ocean City Next Week
The Snowbirds demonstration team is pictured flying in formation. Photo courtesy of the Canadian Air Force

OCEAN CITY — Air Show enthusiasts will be treated to an early matinee this year with the arrival of the Canadian Air Force Snowbirds Jet Demonstration Team scheduled for next Wednesday.

The always-popular Ocean City Air Show is et for June 16-18 this year, but the skies over the resort will be graced with a rare jet demonstration team performance three weeks earlier with the arrival of the Canadian Air Force Snowbirds. The Snowbirds are the Canadian equivalent of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.

The opportunity to host the Canadian Air Force (CAF) Snowbirds came about earlier this spring when the traveling demonstration team had a gap in their current tour in the U.S. The Snowbirds have an engagement in South Carolina this weekend and another planned in New York over Memorial Day weekend and were looking to fill a gap in their schedule.

Ocean City was happy to oblige and will host the Canadian jet demonstration team for a flyover event set for next Wednesday. The Snowbirds performance over Ocean City next Wednesday is billed as a “featurette.”

Like their U.S. brethren the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds, the CAF Snowbirds perform thrilling aerobatic performances and flyovers in Canada and across the U.S. complete with close-quarter formations with smoke trails and other features. The CAF Snowbirds will feature an aerobatic box with a stage, sound system and other amenities centered at 3rd Street.

While the Ocean City Air Show producer brought the idea to resort officials, the event will be coordinated by the town’s Special Events Department in cooperation with various allied departments. For example, the U.S. Coast Guard will secure the demonstration area and provide vessels to mark the area. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources may also provide resources on the water, along with the Maryland State Police Dive Team in the event of an emergency.

Unlike the Ocean City Air Show, which stages many of its performers at the NASA Flight Facility on Wallops Island, the CAF would use the Ocean City Municipal Airport as its staging area. Other town in-kind contributions will come from the Public Works Department for the setting up and tearing down of the main stage and other amenities at 3rd Street. The Ocean City Police Department would provide security at the airport and at the venue and the Ocean City Beach Patrol could also be called on to support the event on the beach.

The town’s estimated total hard costs would be around $7,000. The town would also purchase upfront the roughly 6,000 gallons of jet fuel needed by the demonstration team, but would be reimbursed by the CAF Snowbirds likely at a higher per-gallon rate.

The performance is set for a window of 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. While the event is centered at the beach at 3rd Street with its stage and sound system areas, the jet demonstration should be visible throughout the resort.

In advance of the demonstration, Shenanigan’s Irish Pub at 4th Street and the Boardwalk will host a reception next Tuesday evening beginning at 7 p.m. The public will be able to interact with the team and get autographs and photos.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.