This year’s Thunder Over The Valley airshow will honor wounded warriors and unique groups of veterans from the Santa Maria Valley.
The event, which will be held at the Santa Maria Public Airport, will run Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Special honorees will include 442nd Infantry Regiment Nisei, Filipino Guerillas and Scouts, Women Air Service Pilots (WASP) and Tuskegee Airmen.
The annual airshow is put on by the Santa Maria Museum of Flight. The museum is located on the grounds of what was previously the Santa Maria Army Air Field and was the base for the first jet fighter squadron in the Army Air Force, flying the Bell P-59 aircraft during World War II.
Since its inception, the event has attracted some 7,000 to 8,000 visitors each year for more than 25 years, according to officials. Attendees can expect to see World War II planes, displays or aerobatics, and this year the main attraction will be demonstrations of large scale radio-controlled aircraft.
Michael Geddry, CEO for the museum and airshow event director, said that while attendees will enjoy the show, it’s also important to stop and think about why they’re all there.
“The whole theme of the show is to honor wounded warriors,” Geddry said. “It gives us the time to get away from the hustle and bustle of life and think about how very fortunate we are to have the freedom that we do thanks to these men and women that have served.”
Admission for uniformed personnel and their families is free. Admission is $10 for adults, $3 for children ages 7 to 12 or $25 for a family of four. Children 6 and younger and members of the military are admitted free of charge.
For more information about the event or the Santa Maria Museum of Flight, visit www.smmof.org.
8/20/15 Ryan Cooley Santa Maria Times