AirVenture recovers from storm, celebrates with nighttime air show

Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 10:35 PM CDT
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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - The night air show at EAA AirVenture took off Thursday after being pushed back a day because of severe weather Wednesday. Fortunately, those storms caused little damage on the EAA grounds.

This marked the return of the night air show to EAA -- and the return of night air show fans to the flight line -- after AirVenture was canceled in 2020.

“I don’t like to describe it. I tell them it’s the best, and then let the surprise happen, because it’s pretty incredible,” Mark Swanson of Illinois said.

“Pyrotechnics to the maximum degree! It’s amazing,” Terri Swanson added.

For many attending AirVenture, it’s a crowd favorite. It’s also a rare opportunity to see pilots performing daring maneuvers against a different type of backdrop.

“When people watch it, there’s no reference point to the ground like they usually have during the daytime airshow, and then add the pyrotechnics on the wingtips and the music off in the background, it’s just fun. It’s a different sensing experience which makes it more fun for spectators,” EAA spokesman Dick Knapinski said.

Some say it’s about finding the perfect spot for viewing.

“I’ve been sitting here since about 9:30 this morning saving my spot for it,” Matt Heisen from Minnesota said. “I would absolutely love to be up in one of those T-6′s with them going off at night. That would be fun.”

The scene is much different from Wednesday night when the show was postponed because of severe storms and 2,000 people were taking shelter inside the EAA Museum to ride out the rain.

“We were planning to go back to Illinois today, but we said, ‘You know what? Let’s come back,’ so we did. We’re going to be driving back to Illinois very late tonight, but it will be worth it,” Terri Swanson said.

If you still want to check out a night air show, there’s another one Saturday starting at about 8 o’clock.

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