Look to the skies! New Garden Festival of Flight 2011, June 11-12

The famed New Garden air show returns with old favorites as well as some new surprises

P.J. D’Annunzio, Staff Writer, UnionvilleTimes.com

Dozens of classic aircraft will be on display — and in the skies above New Garden during this weekend's New Garden Festival of Flight.

NEW GARDEN — The New Garden Airport will be hosting its annual Festival of Flight on Saturday June 11 and Sunday 12. This year’s festivities will be encompassing two days instead of the previous single day operations of past years.

Aircraft returning to the festival are crowd favorites such as the P-51 Mustang and the P-40 Warhawk, “the most famous fighters of World War II” according to New Garden Airport Manager Jonathan Martin. Along with the mainstays are new additions such as C-54 Spirit of Freedom transport aircraft, made famous during the Berlin Airlift. Other aircraft include a J3C Cub, YAK 52, L5 Sentinel, and multiple WWII era North American “Texan” training aircraft.

For all those interesting in soaring through the clouds, raffle tickets will be sold for a chance to win a ride in one of the vintage warbirds. Back on the ground, for auto enthusiasts, there will be a classic car display.

Bill Riley and Joe Ziegler will again reprise their Ultimate Abbott and Costello Show — which was a big hit in 2010.

But historic aircraft are not the only ones to be present at the festival. “The B-2 stealth bomber will also be back this year to perform flybys,” Martin said. The B-2 Spirit bomber has been in the service of the United States Air Force since 1997 and has seen action from campaigns during the Kosovo War to Operation Iraqi Freedom. The B-2 flyover is scheduled for Saturday.

Other aerial displays will include the flights of Dan Dameo piloting the P-40 Warhawk, Matt Chapman in the CAP 580, Kevin Russo in the SNJ-6, a presentation by CAF Dixie Wing’s P-51D Mustang, and stunt flying by Jason Flood in a Pitts S1S.

Many of the fun attractions that have driven big crowds in recent years — including live performer that harken bck to an earlier age — will be at the air show. Martin said, “We’ll have The Ultimate Abbott and Costello Tribute Show as well as a performance by The Manhattan Dolls singing group performing Saturday and Sunday.”

A wide selection of classic cars are always part of the mix at the New Garden Festival of Flight.

But, to keep things interesting, there’s new excitement, too. Wing walker Jane Wicker will also be featured for the first time at the festival. Jane will be tantalizing the crowd with death-defying feats of aerobatics atop the wings of a 450 horsepower Stearman biplane.

The festival would not be complete without such amenities such as appetizing food and refreshing beverages. “We have everything from Bruster’s ice cream and funnel cakes to seafood and the best barbecue you’ll ever have,” Martin said. And for the kids (or the kids at heart) toy-venders, a moon-bounce, and a variety of entertaining games including a mini RC racing track will be available.

Be sure to catch the New Garden Festival of Flight on June 11 or 12. You’ll be surprised how time will fly when you’re having fun.

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