Next month’s Owensboro Air Show, which already included a number of military jets and helicopters, will also include a performance by what Public Events director Tim Ross called “the most advanced air-to-air fighter in the world.”
Ross told Owensboro City Commissioners Tuesday he had received confirmation that an F-22 Raptor fighter demo team will be performing during the Air Show, which takes place Aug. 13-15 at the riverfront.
Ross made the announcement while updating commissioners about Air Show and Owensboro HydroFair plans during Tuesday’s commission meeting at City Hall.
According to the U.S. Air Force website, the F-22 is a stealth fighter that can cruise at supersonic speeds, which was designed to “outmaneuver all current and projected aircraft.”
“You will be amazed what this aircraft can do,” Ross said.
The Air Show is the first of two weekends of events. The following week between Aug. 19 and 22, the HydroFair takes over the riverfront for two days of hydroplane racing, including the North American championship.
Ross said people should be prepared for closures on the Glover Cary Bridge, including from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday Aug. 14 and beginning at 3 p.m. Sunday Aug. 15. The bridge will also be closed during practice sessions on Thursday Aug. 12 from noon to 5 p.m., and on Friday Aug. 13 from 2:30 to 4 p.m.
“We try to close the bridge as little as possible,” Ross said.
Friday’s events will include a static air show beginning at 4:30 p.m., with flying acts and fireworks, at Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport. Admission if $5, with free admission for children under age 10.
Before Saturday’s Air Show, a 5K and 10K road race across the bridge will be held downtown, and people will be able to walk the bridge as part of “Bridge Day,” from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Ross said.
Along with the F-22 demo team, the Air Show will include performances by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, military aircraft, stunt fliers and the Special Operations Command Para-Commandos.
Hotels are booked, and seats for the Air Show are sold out Saturday at the Owensboro Convention Center, Ross said. Some seats remain for Sunday’s performance, Ross said.
The HydroFair begins with practice sessions Friday, Aug. 20, and racing from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Ross said between 50 and 60 hydroplane racing teams are expected.
The city hasn’t hosted hydroplane racing in decades, Ross said. “We are thrilled we have racing back that weekend,” Ross said. Tables of eight are on sale at the convention center for the hydroplane races, Ross said.
The riverfront in front of downtown will be closed to boat traffic both during the Air Show and the HydroFair, Ross said. Also, the boat ramp at English Park will be closed during the HydroFair, so racing teams can use the ramp.
Mayor Tom Watson said people should expect some road closures during the events.
“It’s going to be a fabulous two weeks,” Watson said. “... It’s going to be something. It’s going to be special.”
James Mayse, 270-691-7303, firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: @JamesMayse