Contributed photo The Canadian Forces Snowbirds and the Armed Forces CF-18 demonstration jet fighter will roar above the Rocky Mountain House Airport July 25.

Snowbirds and CF-18 to star at Rocky Mountain House Airshow

July 25 Airshow back for first time since 2015 at Rocky Mountain House Airport

A pair of guaranteed crowd pleasers will take to the skies at the Rocky Mountain House Air Show in July.

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds and the Armed Forces CF-18 demonstration jet fighter will roar above the Rocky Mountain House Airport July 25.

One of Canada’s remaining Sea King helicopters is also making an appearance. The chopper’s appearance is part of a farewell tour for the veteran workhorse. A Sea King, based in Victoria, B.C., will make the journey to Rocky.

“It’s the last year of the Sea King so they are trying to get out to as many air shows and static displays as possible,” said Ken Fowler, one of the air show organizers, Wednesday.

It has been three years since the air show has taken place in Rocky. It is organized by a small and dedicated group of aviation enthusiasts and funding is always a challenge.

Fowler, said the big acts are confirmed, but they are still working on filling out the lineup.

“We’ve got some tentative ones, but we’re way behind in our funding so we can’t even commit to them,” he said.

“We have such a small group that’s working it, and our resources are pretty tapped. The big thing is the funding we got a couple of shows ago, it’s just not there.”

A big reason is the economic downturn, which has taken a toll on sponsorships and donations for so many organizations.

“That’s pretty much the word we’re getting,” he said. “Even with the economy getting better, it takes time for people to recover.”

Long-time sponsors have stepped up again, but the donations are smaller. Organizers have been approved for a provincial Community Initiatives Program (CIP) grant, but they still don’t know how much they will get.

“Once we know about that, that will kind of iron things out and make it easier for us, for sure.

“There are some performers we just can’t commit to until we get more sponsorships or the CIP grant.”

Fowler said someone is bringing some exotic high-performance cars to race but other acts are still under wraps.

Rest assured, fans won’t be disappointed.

“We’re going to develop it into something very entertaining. We’ve got a couple of surprises that we can’t really mention.”

The show runs from 3 to 10 p.m. General admission costs $22 and a special Flight Deck admission costs $95.

For more information see Rocky Mountain House Air Show on Facebook.

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