After 18 months of preparation, the organizers of the Centennial of Flight air show are finally getting some rest.
© Herald photo by Braden Dupuis.
Nearly 17,000 people were on hand for the Centennial of Flight air show.
“We’re all starting to get caught up on our sleep, and we’re feeling good,” event co-ordinator Tim Munro said.
And they have good reason to be in high spirits.
The air show has been deemed a wild success, with attendance somewhere in the neighbourhood of 17,000.
“The turnout far exceeded what was anticipated,” Munro said.
“We were expecting probably between 10,000 to 15,000 people … it caught everyone by surprise.”
So many people attended, in fact, that between 3,000 and 5,000 people were turned away due to a lack of parking.
The only real problem with the event was a foreseeable one — traffic.
“It took approximately an hour to get people out of the parking lot, but we had anticipated that,” Munro said.
“We thought that the volunteers handled the parking and the traffic control phenomenally. They did a super job.”
Aside from one ugly exception, the crowds were patient and understanding of the delays.
“We had one volunteer who was assaulted due to traffic delays, which is very unfortunate,” Munro said, adding that the volunteer in question is OK.
“It was a little shocking, but it was, I think, more upsetting than physically injuring. It’s a little surprising that someone would actually do that to someone that was there attempting to help them … we are continuing the investigation on that.”
Other than that, everyone on hand was respectful and enjoying themselves, Munro said.
“The aircrews were very happy with the attendance, and they said the spectators were some of the most courteous and friendly people that they had run across at air shows,” he said.
“They treated the air crews with respect, and the grounds, the people looked after their trash … everybody from the spectators to the aircrews to the volunteers have all rated this air show a fantastic success, and we’re very, very happy with it ourselves.”
The seed has already been planted for possible future shows as well.
“We are just gathering everything together right now, but there is a distinct possibility that 2014 may occur,” Munro said.
For now, the organizers and volunteers can rest easy on a job well done.
“It was a class one act, and the city and its citizens should be very proud,” Munro said.
“It has been recognized already across Canada and down into the states as a very successful event, so it’s definitely put Prince Albert on the map for possible air shows for the future.”
For more of the sights of the Centennial of Flight air show, see today’s spotlight.