As the tenth Atlantic City Airshow approaches — the first to be held on a Friday — organizers and officials spoke about how the event has become a fixture of summer at the resort.
At a press conference Friday morning in front of Bally’s Atlantic City, organizers announced this year’s lineup — but not this year’s designated “surprise” act — and spoke about how the event has branched out to include the Armed Forces Parade down the Boardwalk.
Last year’s parade was a success “even though it was partly raining,” Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford said, “and I’m sure this year’s will be bigger and better.” This year’s parade will take place Aug. 15.
Add in Nik Wallenda’s high-wire performance next week, Caesars Eastern Division President Don Marrandino said, and this month should be “the busiest 10 days this city will have ever had.”
This year’s show on Aug. 17 will feature acts kicking off with the U.S. Army Golden Knights at 11 a.m. and culminating with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds at 3 p.m.
The Thunderbirds’ schedule was the reason for this year’s move to a Friday.
Not appearing this year will be the B-2 stealth bomber — the Friday date made it difficult for their schedule — but airshow organizer Dave Schultz said there will be a “surprise” flyby which should be “nice and loud” for everyone.
“This is the largest nonweekend airshow in the U.S. and North America today,” Schultz said. “There were records set for tolls on the Garden State Parkway and expressway. I wonder what it’s going to look like on a Friday.”
Greater Atlantic City Chamber director of member events Elisa Monroe said last year’s estimated crowd of 800,000 showed that the city “can handle thousands of visitors safely and efficiently,” adding that it was “a showcase for Atlantic City’s attractions and Boardwalk, and a positive business environment.”
Lt. Col Steven Ziomek, with the 177th Air National Guard, talked about all the work that goes on behind the scenes at the event, noting that unlike shows at air bases or airports, people can’t see the process of take-offs and landings. “At a military base, you can see what’s going on,” Ziomek said. “For a beach airshow, you just kick back with a Coke.”
Langford, recalling the event’s origins in 2003, said, “Here we are some 10 years later, and it’s safe to say the airshow has stood the test of time. It’s an Atlantic City fixture, and it (shows) who we are and what we do. It’s one of the best things we decided to do in Atlantic City.”
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