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4 Wing ready for world-class air show

Residents can expect a star-studded lineup at the 2018 Cold Lake Air Show.
The Cold Lake region is gearing up for another Cold Lake Air Show.
The Cold Lake region is gearing up for another Cold Lake Air Show.

Residents can expect a star-studded lineup at the 2018 Cold Lake Air Show.

From July 21 to 22, members of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), will team-up with professional stunt pilots and international air force units to put on an awe-inspiring show in 4 Wing's airspace.

“4 Wing, in partnership with the City of Cold Lake, is very pleased to be bringing the air show back here. We are putting together a performer lineup that's world class. It's going to be on-par with major air shows across North America,” detailed organization committee co-chair Maj. Kael Rennie.

This year, city council decided to chip-in an extra $125,000 towards the cost of the event.

According to Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland, the city's contribution will cover all necessary accommodations for the private acts scheduled to perform.

“Like anything in life, this has gone up in value. The city's sponsorship will cover the costs for private acts,” explained Copeland. “This is all about showing off the men and women who work on the wing. It's going to be second-to-none in Canada, and a great two days of entertainment. You'll see planes there you just wouldn't anywhere else.”

Sprinkled with stunt operators and pilots from the Red Bull Air Race World Championship circuit, the packed program is highlighted by a rare performance by the F-22 fighter jet.

“The most exciting news this year is we're going to be the recipient of the United States Air Force F-22 demonstration team. That's their premiere world-class fighter, and this is the only stop they're making in Canada. These guys will do things in the sky, that even Canadian fighter pilots can't,” Rennie expressed.

In total, 13 acts have confirmed their attendance, with two more still to affirm their spot in the lineup.

DAMet FX Pyrotechnics will also be on-hand to give the show a little extra flair. Attendees won't want to miss a minute of the action, as organizers are planning to kick-off the event with a bang.

There will be acts dedicated to commemorating the 60th anniversary of the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD).

“Something that's very unique to our air show is what we call the mass attack. We will take eight to 10 fighter jets and some Hawk aircraft, and we'll do a simulated attack on the airfield. This will go along with explosions and pyrotechnics. It's a real crowd pleaser to start the show this year,” explained Rennie.

While pilots maneuver the airspace, classic car owners will be on ground-level shining and showing off their wheels.

Organizers have decided to focus on the Corvette in accordance with the sports car's 65th anniversary.

Rennie said, “Another unique aspect of our event is the car show. This year's theme will surround the 65th anniversary of the Corvette. We're not just trying to get antique cars, we're focusing on that car.”

With the additional bells and whistles, event organizers are hoping for an even better turnout than 2016, where they sold over 18,000 tickets.

“We're spoiled. We're living in a community that has Canada's largest fighter base. You can almost take it for granted, but there will be a lot of Cold Lakers watching because every show is different,” said Copeland.