Westover announces 2015 Air Show dates
May 23, 2014
By G. Michael Dobbs
CHICOPEE – Organizers of the 2015 Great New England Air Show said the announcement on May 16 was literally a “save the date” notice.
Mayor Richard Kos explained that people make plans to come for the Air Show and this way they could mark their calendars a year in advance.
The show will be May 16 and 17, 2015, at Westover Air Reserve Base (WARB) and will feature the United States Navy Blue Angels jet demonstration team as well as current military and civilian aircraft. Vintage planes are also expected to be part of the show.
The admission and parking will be free.
The show will be part of the base’s 75th anniversary observation.
“The Air Show is very important in our community,” Kos noted.
The last Air Show was in 2012 and drew an estimated 210,000 to Westover Air Reserve Base, Bud Schuback, president of the Galaxy Community Council, said.
In an economic study conducted in 2008, Schuback added, it was shown the Air Show generated an economic impact of $13.8 million. Most of that money came from visitors outside of the area traveling here for the show.
Recognizing its importance as a regional economic driver, state Rep. Joseph Wagner was successful in adding an amendment to the state budget under consideration that would finance the show with $100,000. Schuback said the Galaxy Council must raise $300,000 to produce the show in conjunction with the Air Force Reserve.
Wagner told Reminder Publications he hopes the funding remains part of the budget as it goes through the approval process in the state Senate. He added that tourism is the third most important industry in the Commonwealth.
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