Chamber of Commerce plans air show

March 07, 1997


Staff Writer

This September, mock bombs and explosions will rock Washington County - and not just at the Antietam reenactment.

A week before the 135th Anniversary Reenactment of the Battle of Antietam, an arsenal of 20th-century technology will descend on Hagerstown for "The Great Hagerstown Air Show" Sept. 6 and 7.

The Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce will run the show for the first time, said Executive Vice President Fred Teeter.

"With the right promotion, we think we can draw 35,000 people over two days," Teeter said.

The last time the Washington County Regional Airport hosted an air show was in 1995, and before that in 1989, airport officials said. The 1995 air show drew about 15,000 people over two days, airport officials estimated.

"It features some really great acts," Teeter said. The Mad Bomber will launch pyrotechnic bombs and small amounts of dynamite.

"It's enough to make it exciting but it's not destructive," Teeter said.


The Bud Light Microjet, which is only 5 feet long, will show off some unique maneuvers, and a Mig 17 and an F-86 will engage in a mock Vietnam-era dogfight.

A military skydiving team, an airborne comedy act and the Russian Sukoy small propeller stunt aircraft round out the signed acts.

Teeter said the chamber is also in hot pursuit of an A-10 attack aircraft, a Harrier jumpjet, a Mig 21 and a static display of vintage helicopters and other equipment.

The Chamber also plans to have a military band play for an hour before and after the 3-hour show, Teeter said.

Although this is the chamber's first attempt at an air show, a lot of people who put on previous shows are helping, Teeter said. "It's not as if we're flying blind."

Teeter said the chamber has more on its mind than a simple joyride.

"One of the reasons we've got into this is to promote a great economic development asset - the airport."

"The idea is to expose Washington County to a greater number of people," said Chamber President Gary Wright. "Ideally, we bring 50,000 people into the county for a day or two."

Teeter said the chamber would like to coordinate the event with Boonesborough Days, that same weekend. People could come to town, spend Saturday at one event and Sunday at the other, Teeter said.

General admission to the show will be $8, Teeter said. Preschoolers get in free, and other kids and seniors pay $5.

Teeter said the chamber wasn't planning to put on a show every year. "We might try and do one every two or three years," he said. "It's hard to make an air show that new and different every year."

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