Formerly The Summer Balloon Classic And AirFest
A central Texas festival of aviation featuring two days of aerobatic air shows will be head in a new location this year ... at Mesquite Metro Airport with earlier dates for cooler temperatures over Memorial Day weekend, Saturday and Sunday, May 26 and 27. Just minutes from Dallas and easily accessible across the metroplex, Mesquite provides the perfect home for the Take to the Skies AirFest, previously known as the Summer Balloon Classic & AirFest.
“We have updated our name to reflect our showcase of all types of aviation and are exited to be working with Mesquite Metro Airport,” said event president Debby Standefer. She pointed out that the event will be the first Air Show of the season in the metroplex, and the only Air Show in the Dallas area. The show will feature special ceremonies to honor active duty military personnel and verterans.
Saturday evening features the popular “Lite the Nite” balloon glow. The balloons will perform twinkle burns, waves, all burns directed by our event announcer. Weather permitting, this is the one time when spectators may be able to come up close to the balloons, talk to the pilots and see just how everything looks and works.
The Air Shows begin at 2pm each day with a variety of airplanes performing dramatic flights and aerobatic performances. Standefer says the stars of the show are the Trojan Phlyers Demo Team performing formation aerobatics. The show will also feature Jan Collmer, co founder of the Frontiers of Flight Museum and author of the new book Go Start Something! The emmcee for the event is Mike “Spanky” Gallaway, announcer for the famous Red Bull Air Races and other prestigious events ... and flies as well.
The show will also feature the only Aerobatic Air Racing Challenge in the south. Woman against woman, as Julia Wood faces Kate Kyer (both are airline captains); man against man; and (here's where the skill comes in) ... husband against wife. Julia competes against husband Tony Wood. Teams of two will take to the skies in aerobatic maneuvers in a timed sequence. The pilots all perform solo aerobatics as well.
The event opens at 1000 CDT both days. The even will feature flying and static displays including helicopters, airplanes, military aircraft, the Commemorative Air Force, powered hang gliders and parachutes, skydivers, radio control aircraft and more. Flights will be available throughout the day to the public in helicopters, airplanes, biplanes, historic warbirds; and tethered balloon rides, weather permitting, will be available on Saturday evening before the Glow.
Admission to the festival is only $5 with children under 6 free. Please leave ice chests, food and pets at home! Do bring sunscreen and chairs or blankets. Come early and miss the traffic, especially Saturday evening. (Images provided by event organizers)