Currituck - OBX Skyway Festival 2015
by CCED, on 4/1/15 4:56 PM
Currituck Regional Airport Spreads Its Wings at Inaugural Aviation Festival on May 9
CURRITUCK COUNTY, N.C. ― The inaugural Currituck-Outer Banks Skyway Festival, set for Saturday, May 9, will showcase Currituck County Regional Airport’s role in the community and celebrate generations of flight with modern and vintage aircraft displays, plane rides, hang gliding, a “Candy Bomber” aerial candy drop for kids and demonstrations of remote control model planes and commercial drones.
This fun, family-friendly festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the county-owned regional airport at 264 Airport Road in Maple. Admission is free, although there will be fees for some activities. Food and soft drinks will be sold by the nonprofit Currituck Wild Goose Rotary Club and the Currituck Flying Club.
“Currituck County Regional Airport is more than an airport. It’s a key generator for investment, jobs, tax revenue, commerce and tourism ― and on May 9 it also will be a cool place for family fun,” said Peter Bishop, the county’s economic development director.
Aircraft displays and demonstrations at the festival will span the generations of flight, from a replica of a 1902 Wright brothers’ glider to 21st century drones.
“One of the most exciting activities, especially for kids, will be a re-enactment of an aerial candy drop from the same ‘Candy Bomber’ C-54E Skymaster used in the Berlin Airlift of 1948,” Bishop said.
County officials hope to make the Currituck-Outer Banks Skyway Festival an annual celebration or, as Bishop said, “our signature airport event to kick off the summer season.”
“We have a lot to celebrate here. Our airport is a beautiful facility that has a big economic impact on our county,” Bishop said. “It’s really a hidden gem in aviation, and we want to build even greater awareness, usage and utilization of the facility and nearby amenities.”
Currituck County Regional Airport adds $10.6 million a year to the county’s economy, produces $254,000 annually for state and local tax coffers and has generated 40 jobs with a total payroll of $2.16 million, according to the North Carolina Division of Aviation.
The airport also generates about 25,000 visitors a year from business and leisure air travel.
“The economic impact of our airport is impressive, as evidenced by the development of the College of The Albemarle’s Regional Aviation and Technical Training Center,” Bishop said. “But the impact is felt throughout Currituck County and beyond. Our airport helps businesses and tourism in nearby communities as well as throughout the Outer Banks.”
While the airport is important to the economic growth of Currituck County, the creation of the Skyway Festival is intended to engage the community with the wonderment and family fun that aviation can provide.
“We hope the Skyway Festival shows our community the history, innovation and downright ‘cool factor’ of aviation,” Bishop said. “We’ll have a replica of the first 1902 Wright Glider all the way up to a modern unmanned drone on display. I’d bet Orville Wright would be amazed at how far we’ve come. We hope the public is, too.”
The Skyway Festival is being presented by the Currituck County Regional Airport in partnership with Kitty Hawk Kites.
Key sponsors are TowneBank and Dominion North Carolina Power, and supporting sponsors are Beach 104 ― WCXL-FM, Shell Aviation, Hardy Moving & Storage, Outer Banks Harley-Davidson, Currituck County and Currituck County Economic Development. Festival partners from the Currituck Community Park campus are the College of The Albemarle, Currituck SPCA, Currituck Family YMCA, North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension and the Currituck County Parks & Recreation Department.
The festival will begin with “The Star-Spangled Banner” and a salute from the Air Force Junior ROTC unit from Currituck County High School.
Here are some highlights:
- Free airplane rides for kids, courtesy of volunteer pilots with the EAA Young Eagles program, Chapter 1278, out of Elizabeth City.
- The C-54E Skymaster “Spirit of Freedom” aircraft used in the famous “Candy Bomber” flights during Berlin Airlift of 1948. The plane, which dropped candy to German children, not only will be on display but also will take flight and send down candy in tiny parachutes to children who attend the Skyway Festival.
- Active drone demonstrations by the Outer Banks Drone company.
- Demonstrations of remote control aircraft by members of the River City Radio Control Club.
- Opportunities to participate in tandem hang gliding flights (at a fee) from Kitty Hawk Kites. Also, aerobatic paragliding demonstrations and a hang gliding simulator.
- A replica of the 1902 Wright Glider, built by the Wright brothers.
- A visit from Sentara’s Nightingale regional air ambulance.
- A Coast Guard helicopter.
- A replica of a Navy T-34 propeller-driven, single-engine aircraft.
- Classic cars from members of the Currituck Car Club.
- Displays by Outer Banks Harley-Davidson.
- Games and other activities for children and families.
- Informational booth for Skyway Festival sponsors and partners from the Currituck Community Park campus.