For a lot of people in Watsonville, Labor Day is more then just a three-day weekend, barbeques, trips to the lake or the week right before the NFL football season kicks off.
That’s right, it’s the 48th annual “Fly-In and Air Show” and people in town are starting to get excited, especially Watsonville city analyst and event director .
“I love it when those big planes come in and rumble the windows around the airport and remind people that the airport’s there,” he said. “It’s a community event put on by members of the community. It’s neat to be able to see all those old planes and you can see where technology has gone, how aviation has evolved to be where it is now.”
And according to Fly-In and Air Show member Theo Wiredsma, anywhere from 100 to 300 planes can show up throughout the weekend. Scheduled to perform in the air is Eddie Andreini, Bill Stein, Vicky Benzing, John Collver and Dr. D’s Old Time Aerobatics.
But of course that all depends on the weather and most of us already know how that works in Santa Cruz County; sunny and warm one minute, foggy and cold in the next.
“I’ve had years where they would be stuck in Hollister and couldn’t get in because there was no way to look at the airport of Watsonville,” said Wiredsma.
The event is also a long tradition of giving people a behind the scenes look inside the and celebrating the history of having one in a small town like Watsonville.
And also according to Wiredsma, the can be an eye opener for those interested in flying planes one day.
“The air show is an exposure of the airport functions to the public,” he said. “It’s an exposure of aviation to younger folks and fixes the imagination of a lot of kids that might make some decisions about where they might want to go with their life.”
And also according to Wiredsma, Sunday’s is typically when the crowd can admire a lot of the WWII antique planes such as the P-51 Mustang, the Grumman 6F Hellcat, the Vultee BT-13 and the P-40 Warhawk along with a car show full of classics.
Although there is nothing new that will be added to this year’s show, it’s still a blast to show up and see some of the aerobatic wonders take flight with precise maneuvers that must have taken hours of practice and patience to master.
“We just want to make it more and more of a community event rather then one that is ran by the airport,” said Wiredsma.
A spaghetti dinner will take place on Friday and Saturday night as well as a pancake breakfast on Saturday morning.