Organizers hope to rekindle history, raise money
By Brittany Llorente
VERO BEACH -- For some, seeing an air show in Vero Beach has been something long forgotten. For most children, something they've yet to see.
Thanks to the two-year collaborative effort between several organizations in Indian River County, the skies over Vero Beach will be filled with sky writing and daring aerial tricks.
On Oct. 5 and 6, the Vero Beach Air Show will return.
The lineup includes the GEICO Skytypers Airshow Team, Tin Stixx, Jet truck driver Chris Darnell, Greg Koontz and the Alabama boys, Matt Younkin, Quicksilver, Scott 'Scooter' Yoak and Christ Darnell.
The GEICO Skytypers are a six-aircraft squadron, using vingtage SNJ-2 WWII aircraft. The will write giant billboard letters in the sky that can be seen for 15 miles.
The various other acts of tight passes, head on sequences, aerial loops, tumbles and low flying ribbon cutting is only a portion of the agenda.
Todd Howder, president of the Vero Beach Air Show, has been a part of getting this show 'off the ground' since the start.
He fondly remembers the air show's of years past and volunteering while he was in high school.
"I was born and raised here," Mr. Howder said. "We really wanted something family oriented and to get something going in the community. We think Vero Beach is a very aviation enthusiastic community."
He went on to mention that very few of the county's youth knew of the history of the airport and its involvement in World War II as a navy base.
"They're losing history and bringing this air show back brings the aviation back to the forefront again," he said. "It's time to get a whole new generation excited."
In addition to the high flying stunts, the organizers hope to raise money for local charities that reach the skies.
"Vero Beach Air Show is a nonprofit," he said. "Everyone putting this together has put in lots of time and effort. This has been a total dedication to make this happen."
All proceeds will go to the Indian River County Exchange Club, Treasure Coast Exchange Club, Vero Beach Exchange Club and the Indian River County Veteran's Council.
Those organizations filter down to help organizations such as CASTLE and Youth Guidance.
With such a big undertaking, the air show is calling for volunteers.
For those interested, there will be a meeting Saturday, Aug. 24 at the Sunjet Hanger at the Vero Beach Municipal Airport, 3400 Cherokee Drive, Vero Beach, at 10 a.m.
"There will be various opportunities for volunteers for helping with parking, manning the food trucks, merchandise tents and hospitality volunteers," he said. "We will also have floaters for various times through the event."
Sponsorship opportunities will exist until the day of the event, Mr. Howder said.
A second air show has been set for May 10 and 11 and will feature the U.S. Navy Blue Angels.
"These guys are the top dogs of what they do," Mr. Howder said. "Having something like that in your back yard, you can see and do the math of what kind of groups you think would attend."
For the October show, Mr. Howder expects 30,000 attendees and hopes to triple that for the May show.
To learn more about the show, volunteer, purchase tickets or become a sponsor, visit www.veroairshow.com.