Crusader staff report
One year after it returned to Marquette Park after a two-year absence, the Gary Air Show has secured Majestic Star Casino as its new title sponsor.
The announcement comes as the Gary Air Show continues to regain popularity after it returned to the city last year after a two-year absence. Last year, city officials estimated some 30,000 spectators attended the event.
The air show will run Saturday, July 9 through Sunday, July 10 at Marquette Park, 1 North Grand Boulevard.
Majestic Star Casino is celebrating its 20th Anniversary as the Gary Air Show biggest sponsor. Other major sponsors include Boeing and Centier Bank. Boeing celebrates its 100th Anniversary this year.
The Gary Air Show will feature the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, which will resume its daredevil stunts after the tragic death of one of their pilots. Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss died June 2 when his F/A-18 jet crashed just after takeoff while practicing for an air show in Tennessee. The Blue Angels will resume its schedule July 2 at the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Michigan.
The Blue Angels will once again be the star attraction at the Gary Air Show. Since 1946, the Blue Angels have flown for more than 260 million spectators, according to its website. The Blue Angels are an American air show favorite and delight audiences across the country with their precision, speed and aerobatics. During their aerobatic demonstration, the Blues fly six F/A-18 Hornet aircraft, split into the Diamond Formation (Blue Angels 1 through 4) and the Lead and Opposing Solos (Blue Angels 5 and 6). Most of the show alternates between maneuvers performed by the Diamond Formation and those performed by the Solos.
Another team at this year’s Gary Air show is the United States Army Parachute Team, nicknamed “The Golden Knights.” They are the U.S. Army’s official aerial demonstration team. The Team travels around the United States, performing parachute demonstrations at air shows, major league football and baseball games, and special events, connecting the Army with the American people.
The Team originated at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, home of the airborne in 1959. At the time, the Russians dominated the relatively new sport of skydiving, and were unbeatable at the international competitions. Thirteen intrepid airborne Soldiers saw an opportunity to beat the Soviets at their own game…and began practicing to meet the world as the first U.S. military parachute team. Success came quickly, as the Team began bringing home gold medals and winning the hearts of the American public. The fledgling Team’s mission was to assist in the development of modern parachuting techniques, to provide world-class competition parachutists, and to perform live aerial demonstrations in support of the Army’s public relations and recruiting efforts. In 1961, the Team adopted their nickname, “The Golden Knights.”
Other aerial acrobatic teams scheduled to perform in this year’s Gary Air Show are the Aerostars, the Firebirds and Lima Lima.
At Marquette Park, there will be an array of food, beverages and merchandise from various vendors. Coolers, barbeque grills, alcohol or weapons in the park are strictly prohibited. During the air show, vendors at the park will be open from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Admission to the Air Show is free, but the park charges for parking inside the park and at remote locations in the vicinity of the park. Parking fees range from $20 to $40 depending on the location.
Event organizers say free Shuttle service and bike parking will be available. Bikes are prohibited on the beach and in the vendor area.