A close 2nd would probably be Scott AFB.
A very close 2nd would be Airshow London. Especially with the emphasis on celebrating Canada's 150, and already getting some international flair (Solo Turk and RAAF KC-30). I'm getting a feeling this is going to be a big time event!
I used to live near Detroit and hit up most shows within about 6 hours of driving. Obviously very little details are known for 2018 right now, but here is a list of shows to keep an eye out for. Note that not all of these will have shows next year, and some may not really exist any more at this point, but it's just something to keep in mind from year to year.
Thunder Over Michigan
St. Thomas (ON)
This is a really good list. I added some dates to Ryan's list in the quoted text. I'd also add the Cherry Festival Airshow in Traverse City, MI, which is June 29-July 1 next year. The CAF wing in Indianapolis is also planning an event next year, although I'm not sure what that will look like and that would probably depend on your interest in warbirds.RyanS wrote: ↑Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:00 amI used to live near Detroit and hit up most shows within about 6 hours of driving. Obviously very little details are known for 2018 right now, but here is a list of shows to keep an eye out for. Note that not all of these will have shows next year, and some may not really exist any more at this point, but it's just something to keep in mind from year to year.
Thunder Over Michigan - Aug. 25-26
Cleveland - Sep. 1-2
Dayton - Jun. 23-24
Toronto - Sep. 1-3
Chicago - Aug. 18-19
Terre Haute - Aug. 18-19
Goshen (IN) - Jul. 7
Gaylord - Jun. 16-17
Oakland-Pontiac - Aug. 26
St. Thomas (ON) - Jun. 16-17
Selfridge, Fort Wayne, Youngstown, Gary, Toledo, Alma and Jackson all aren't likely to have airshows next year. Selfridge should return in 2019 if they follow their biennial schedule. Last I heard, Toledo is also planning on returning in 2019.
The Wings Over Northern Michigan in Gaylord is one that seems to be growing quite a bit. They had a midweek, evening event leading up to the airshow with the Snowbirds, Skyhawks, Susan Dacy and Mike Vaknin. The main event on the weekend featured the F-16 Viper and F-18F Super Hornet demos, the Yankee Air Force warbirds, the Aerostars and a couple aerobatic acts. I've wanted to go for a couple years now, but it always falls on Father's Day weekend and we usually end up planning something that's more family oriented.
Hope this helps. We're lucky to have a lot of options in the upper Midwest!
On the list of Big Shows:
-Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival (2018 Dates: June 28th - July 4th. Exact Air Show Dates are TBA but we're working on June 30-July 1 as well as July 3-4) - Recently voted the #3 Best Air Show in the country. It is a Balloon Festival and Air Show tied together, but also an entertainment festival. With a carnival, plenty of attractions, a world class air show & balloon event, car racing, fireworks and much more. Usually it is a military/civilian show but the plan for this year is to incorporate a lot more warbirds into the mix. The best part about the show is definitely the cost. On the busy days, it is only $10 to get in ($8 with a coupon) and you can also bring in a cooler (Just no alcohol. That must be purchased on site). (Location: W.K. Kellogg Airport in Battle Creek, Michigan). www.bcballoons.com
-Thunder Over Michigan (2018 Dates: August 25th - 26th) - One of the top warbird shows in North America, the show is a mix between modern military, classic warbirds & battle re-enactments. 2018 will feature the United States Air Force Thunderbirds and the theme is "20 Years of Thunder". It'll celebrate all the major years of Thunder since the start of when it was a Mustang Gathering, through the years it was known as "Air Display" and right up to its present name, "Thunder Over Michigan". (Location: Willow Run Airport in Belleville/Ypsilanti, Michigan). www.yankeeairmuseum.org/airshow
Selfridge Air National Guard Base Open House & Airshow No Air Show in 2018. Next planned show is 2020 (Three year rotation now)
Cleveland National Air Show (2018 Dates: September 1st-3rd) - Always held over Labor Day Weekend and for three days, this air show is one of the most historic in the United States, with its history dating back to the great air races of the 1920s and 1930s. Located right in the heart of Downtown Cleveland, and on the shores of Lake Erie, the air show provides a backdrop like no other. Being right in the middle of downtown, you can make a vacation out of it too. Go to the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, see an Indians game...the options are endless. The 2018 Event will feature the United States Navy Blue Angels (Location: Burke Lakefront Airport - Cleveland, Ohio) www.clevelandairshow.com
Vectren Dayton Airshow (2018 Dates: June 23rd-24th) - One of the most known airshows in the country. The Vectren Dayton Air Show is typically held in June each year and is held in Dayton, Ohio, the Birthplace of Aviation (where the Wright Brothers began work on their Wright Flyer and where they are from). The 2018 Event will feature the United States Navy Blue Angels, Tora Tora Tora, Redline Airshows, Vicky Benzing and more! (Location: Dayton International Airport - Vandalia, Ohio) www.daytonairshow.com
Airshow London (2018 Dates TBD soon with the Snowbirds confirmation) - The London International Airshow back in the day was always regarded as one of the best air shows around. Airshow London is now building quickly towards that reputation. A lot of air power can always be seen here! From both the Canadian & US Forces, and sometimes some other countries. The ramp is filled with great statics and the lineup is usually jet heavy! Definitely a show not to miss! The Canadian Forces Snowbirds always cap off the day. On Friday Night, the "Hour of Power" features Twilight Performances and tons of afterburner! (Location: London International Airport - London, Ontario Canada) www.airshowlondon.com
Canadian International Airshow (2018 Dates: September 1st-3rd) - Always held over the US Labor Day Weekend, the Canadian International Airshow takes place in Toronto and out over Lake Ontario. It is officially the closing event of the Canadian National Exhibition. The 2018 event will feature both the US Air Force Thunderbirds & The Canadian Forces Snowbirds! (Location: Marilyn Bell Park - Toronto, Ontario Canada) www.cias.org
Wings Over Pittsburgh - No Air Show in 2018. Next planned show is 2020
Fort Wayne Air Show - No Air Show in 2018. Next planned is 2019, but may end up being 2020.
Mansfield Open House & Airshow - Hasn't been one here in awhile. They usually do host Airport Days with displays and such though.
Youngstown Air Reserve Base Open House & Airshow - No Air Show in 2018. Next planned show is 2020.
Chicago Air & Water Show (2018 Dates: August 18th-19th) - The largest spectator event in North America, amassing a crowd approaching 3 million spectators every year, the Chicago Air & Water Show is an annual end of summer event in the Windy City. With the air show taking place over Lake Michigan, and the Skyscrapers of the Magnificent Skyline of Chicago behind you, it is an experience like no other. This year's air show will feature the United States Air Force Thunderbirds as well as the United States Army Golden Knights and United States Navy Leap Frogs. Sean D. Tucker will also be performing his final solo performance over the City of Chicago. (Location: North Avenue Beach - Chicago, Illinois) www.chicagoairandwatershow.us
Gary Air Show (2018 Tentative Dates: July 6th-8th) - This unique event is held on the shores of Lake Michigan, much like the Air & Water Show. The only difference is, pending no haze, the Skyline of the City of Chicago literally serves as the backdrop! This year's show's tentative dates are July 6th-8th. However, due to the sponsorship issues with last year, it is possible that it may not return until later years. (Location: Miller Beach at Marquette Park - Gary, Indiana) www.gary-airshow.com
Terre Haute Air Show 18 (2018 Dates: August 18th-19th) - Returning for the first time in ten years, the Terre Haute Air Show will return to Tere Haute, Indiana in 2018. It will feature the United States Navy Blue Angels, Billy Werth & Matt Younkin among other performers. (Location: Terre Haute Regional Airport - Terre Haute, Indiana) www.thairshow18.com
Toledo Air Show - No Air Show in 2018. Next planned show is in 2019.
Owensboro Airshow (2018 Dates: September 14th-16th, 2018) - A decent sized air show that takes place over the Ohio River in Owensboro, Kentucky. The 2018 event will feature the United States Navy Blue Angels (Location: Downtown Owensboro Riverfront - Owensboro, Kentucky) www.owensboroairshow.com
Evansville ShrinersFest Airshow - (2018 Dates: TBD) - A decent sized show that also takes place over the Ohio River in Evansville, Indiana. It is a part of the larger HADI ShrinersFest event. (Location: Riverfront Plaza - Downtown Evansville, Indiana) www.shrinersfest.com
National Cherry Festival Air Show (2018 Dates: June 30th-July 1st) - This would fall underneath the smaller air shows category because the flight time is usually 2.5 hours with a jet team taking up a significant chunk of it. However, it falls into the large category because it is a part of a really large festival. It takes place out over the Bay. The 2018 event will feature the United States Navy Blue Angels. (Location: West Arm of the Grand Traverse Bay - Traverse City, Michigan) www.cherryfestival.org
Thunder Over Louisville (2018 Date: April 21st) - Also held on the Ohio River, this is an air show that features civilian acts and a lot of military fly bys. The show begins in the afternoon and runs all evening with a night air show, followed by one of the Nation's Largest Fireworks Displays. This show kicks off the Kentucky Derby Festival. (Location: Ohio Riverfront - Louisville, Kentucky) www.thunderoverlouisville.org
America's Freedom Fest (2018 Date: July 7th) - A show that just returned for 2017. A run/walk coupled with a warbird airshow PLUS a Twilight & Night Air Show extravaganza that ends with a terrific Fireworks Display. Its a fun day! (Location: Goshen Municipal Airport - Goshen, Indiana) www.americasfreedomfest.org
Wings Over Northern Michigan (2018 Dates: June 16th-17th) - Matt hit this one on the head already. This show has been steadily growing over the past few years. Unfortunately, I always have another show that I am involved with usually held over the same weekend, so I have also never been able to check it out! I'm hoping I can make it up there someday or may even help with the production of the event. We'll see! Always seems like a fun weekend. (Location: Gaylord Regional Airport - Gaylord, Michigan) www.wingsovernorthernmichigan.com
Gratiot Community Air Show - Last show held in 2012. No plans on holding another one in the near future.
Oakland/Pontiac Airport Open House (2018 Date: August 26th) - A fun little event that continues to grow too! A chance to check out Oakland County International Airport coupled with a few aerobatic demonstrations and warbirds. Not bad! (Location: Oakland County International Airport - Waterford, Michigan). https://www.oakgov.com/aviation/airport ... -Show.aspx
Jackson Hot-Air Jubilee & Airshow - Event has moved from the airport to a park Downtown. Due to this, an air show is no longer a part of the event. The Hot-Air Jubilee still takes place, just without any aircraft outside of the balloons.
Great Lakes International Air Show (2018 Dates: June 16th-17th) - Actually a pretty good sized show, but at an airport in the middle of nowhere. Usually coupling a few warbirds with modern military jets, a good static ramp and some top civilian acts, this air show always culiminates with the Canadian Forces Snowbirds. Usually held over Fathers Day Weekend, it has become a biennial tradition in Southwest Ontario. (Location: St. Thomas Municipal Airport - St. Thomas, Ontario) www.greatlakesinternationalairshow.ca
Brantford Community Charity Airshow (2018 Dates: TBD) - Always a midweek show, this air show is a Community Charity Airshow held in Brantford, Ontario. It usually features the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, CF-18 Hornet and a selection of Warbirds. (Location: Brantford Airport - Brantford, Ontario) www.communitycharityairshow.com
Hamilton Warbird Weekend/Hamilton Airshow (2018 Dates: TBD) Usually held by the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, this warbird themed show is a smaller fun weekend. It flip flops every other year between a large scaled airshow to a smaller warbird gathering. Always guaranteed to be something different each year with that schedule flip and the museum itself is worth checking out. (Location: Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum - Hamilton, Ontario) www.warplane.com
Lake County Airshow - An airshow returned to Willoughby in 2017 and a 2018 one may be held. Its a smaller show held in the Cleveland area compared to the larger Cleveland National Air Show. (Location: Lost Nation Airport - Willoughby, Ohio).
Wings over Coshocton - A smaller airshow at a smaller airport that is held every other year, with 2018 being the next planned year. Always fun, features mostly a civilian lineup but, as of late, has been getting some military love. (Location: Richard Downing Airport - Coshocton, Ohio)
Northern Illinois Airshow (2018 Date: September 8th)- Usually a one day event held with the Warbird Heritage Foundation providing a good part of the lineup. This is primarily a warbird show and just a fun day out! (Location: Waukegan Regional Airport - Waukegan, Illinois) www.northernillinoisairshow.com
Gathering of TBM Avengers - Held in Peru, Illinois, this is more of a gathering than an airshow. 2017 was the second time the event was held and, though the weather didn't cooperate much, there was a showbox and waiver out for some warbirds to perform some fun stuff. It essentially is a Gathering of TBMs plus some awesome warbirds. Usually held in May. (Location: Illinois Valley Regional Airport - Peru, Illinois)
Vermillion Regional Air Expo (2018 Dates: September 8th-9th) - Held for the first time in 2017, the show will be returning in 2018 with AeroShell Aerobatic Team, Skip Stewart, Greg Koontz, The Alabama Boys & SHOCKWAVE Jet Truck already booked. (Location: Vermillion Regional Airport - Danville, Illinois) www.vrairport.com
Howell Air Show/Livingston County Air Show - First held in 2015 and then again in 2016. This air show used to be held in conjunction to the Michigan Challenge Balloon Fest. However, while the Balloon Fest was held in 2017, the air show was not. There is a plan to bring the air show back for 2018, but the decision has not been made if it will be during the balloon fest again or held separately.
There also is a plan in motion to bring an air show to Michigan International Speedway eventually (called Michigan International Air Show)
Michigan is also like a Hot-Air Balloon Hotspot. Cameron Balloons is based in Michigan and Kalamazoo also hosted the very first National Championship back in the 60s. While we may not have festivals the size of Albuquerque or anything, modern day ballooning pretty much started in Michigan. After the Kalamazoo event, Battle Creek is the only city on the planet to have hosted the World Balloon Championships FOUR times. Three of those times it was held with the air show (the event, overall, is the Battle Creek Field of Flight now).
-Kalamazoo Balloon Fest (Location: Gull Meadow Farms - Richland Michigan). Being held next weekend for 2017 and then October 26th-28th in 2018. 30 Hot-Air Balloons (Largest Fall Family Balloon Festival in the State), tons of fall family activities. www.facebook.com/kalamazooballoonfest
-Michigan Challenge Balloon Fest (Location: Howell High School - Howell, Michigan). A large balloon festival complete with balloon competition, a midway with rides, tons of vendors and fun, a Stunt Kite Team, Skydivers and a night skyidiving show. Friday night features Fireworks www.michiganchallenge.com
-Grand Rapids, Jackson, Lansing & Frankenmuth also host balloon festivals.
IAC has an aerobatic competition every year in either Jackson or Bay City called the Michigan Aerobatic Open. Generally not open to the public, a quick email to them will usually allow someone to go checkout the competition. Both Jackson & Bay City used to host annual air shows too, but no longer do.
The Midwest still has tons of great air shows, all within a short to decent drive of Eastern Michigan. Of course, there used to be tons more (Kalamazoo, Muskegon & Grand Rapids used to both have great air shows). There is a possibility that an air show may return to Kalamazoo soon. Benton Harbor used to host a Lest We Forget Fly-In and Battle Re-Enactments, but I haven't heard much about that lately. It was mostly a battle re-enactment, but there were a few warbirds here and there. South Haven usually has a warbird fly-in during the Blueberry Festival each year.
All in all, there are tons of options in the vicinity. Of course, its a bit further than 5 hours, but Oshkosh is always an option as well. Definitely recommended for any aviation enthusiast. Once the 2018 event section is posted, I will post all the information about the shows I am involved with. Outside of that, with a lot of Midwest folks on these forums, I'm sure there will be tons of information posted about other shows in the vicinity too. Can't go wrong and these boards are a great place to discuss upcoming events. You'll be able to find out about tons of events you could attend next year.
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