Air Fiesta 2015: Theater in the sky

Port Isabel-South Padre Press

February 19, 2015

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a… whole lot of planes! This weekend, the skies over Brownsville will indeed be filled with a whole lot of planes as the Brownsville – South Padre Island International Airport plays host to Air Fiesta 2015.

The event, which first began in November of 1991, features stunt pilots from across the country performing aeronautical acrobatics and air battle re-enactments in front of a crowd of thousands. Performances include many different kinds of aircraft, from biplanes to warplanes.

Airshow Chairman David Hughston says the crowds can range from between 5,000 to 10,000 people, but assures that there’s room for plenty more. “We cannot sell out. We’ve got plenty of room,” he said, speaking of the ample space available at the airfield.

Hughston, who is a pilot himself and has served as chairman for 20 years, says he continues to be a part of the show because of its value as a learning experience. “It’s very satisfying to see a lot of people working hard because they believe in what we’re doing and that is trying to keep history alive for present and future generations,” he said.

This year, the event will also feature a few new surprises. One of thos, Hughston said, will be a “strong man competition” where participants will compete against each other to see who can pull a plane the fastest. There will also be camel rides, a trade show, and “Kiddie Land,” a kid-friendly area with slides and bounce houses, he said.

“It’s going to be exciting. I love seeing it all come together,” Hughston said.

The show will be on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. “Gates open at 9, flying starts at noon. Advance tickets are available at all Cameron County Stripes Stores. They’re $12 advance, $15 at the gate. Kids 12 and under are free,” he said.

The show will go on rain or shine. “We do not cancel the airshow,” Hughston said.

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