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Air show to return to Martinsburg

10 acts are scheduled for two-day event in September

10 acts are scheduled for two-day event in September

June 13, 2008|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. -- The Spirit of America Over Martinsburg Air Show is scheduled to return to Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport in September after a two-year hiatus.

Nic Diehl, along with Airport Manager William E. "Bill" Walkup, told the Berkeley County Commission on Thursday that 10 acts are scheduled for the two-day event Sept. 20 and 21.

Tickets will cost $15 for adults, $12 if purchased in advance. Children age 12 and younger will be admitted at no charge.

Admission for the Air Show in 2005 cost $10, but did not include a parking fee. This year, parking will be included in an attempt to address traffic congestion caused by the event, officials said.


Diehl said he hopes to be able begin selling tickets by July 1 on the event's Web site at

Tickets also will be available at ROCS convenience stores and Martinsburg Mall, he said.

Diehl said Air Show organizers have obtained about 75 percent of the needed sponsorships for the event.

"We're struggling for the last 25 percent," Diehl said after meeting with the commission.

High fuel costs have had an affect on the event budget, Walkup told commissioners. He also made a formal request for in-kind assistance from the Sheriff's Department and the county's ambulance authority, among other entities.

Commission President Steven C. Teufel said he couldn't make a commitment of in-kind services on behalf of Sheriff W. Randy Smith, considering budget shortages, but he believed county officials would do what they could to help.

After a discussion about the potential needs for EMS service and security, the commission signed off on a plan to allow ambulance authority program manager F. Gary Collis to lead a committee to see what assistance could be provided.

Diehl said organizers are planning to contract with agencies supported by the United Way of the Eastern Panhandle to help with tasks like event staging and cleanup. The United Way again has been designated to receive proceeds generated from the event hosted by the airport's governing authority board of directors.

Air Show co-chairman George Smith told board members last month that the 2008 acts include F-16 fighter aircraft, two World War II-era planes and a C-5, according to the board's May meeting minutes. A skydiving team from Chambersburg, Pa., along with wing walkers, a C-130 from Charleston, W.Va., and stunt pilot Bill Finagin from Annapolis, Md., also will be part of the show, Diehl said Thursday.

A "kids village" inflated play area also will be set up, Diehl said.

On the Web

More information on the air show can be found at

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