Rockford Airfest returns Aug. 5-7

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-11218797887277.jpg’, ‘image courtesy’, ‘The stealth Bomber will be featured at the Rockford Airfest 2005.’);

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, the Greater Rockford Airport Authority hosted a yearly air show attended by thousands of spectators from across the region. The last “Midwest Airfest” to take place on airport grounds was in 1994. Over the past 11 years, many people throughout the region have expressed an interest in RFD bringing the air show back to the Rockford regional community. Due to this community support and demand, the Northwest Chicagoland International Airport at Rockford (RFD) announced they will host the Rockford AirFest 2005 air show event the first weekend in August.

“We are happy to report that this is the year,” said Executive Director Bob O’Brien. “Since starting here in 2002, I can’t tell you how many people mentioned to me that they were disappointed that we no longer had an air show here at RFD. Thanks to the support and blessing from our board, 2005 is the year that we are bringing the air show back to our community with hopes of making it bigger and better each year.”

Rockford AirFest 2005 will be held on airport grounds Aug. 5-7. This year’s theme will be “low tech to high tech,” with planes dating back to the WWII era to high-performance jets such as the Stealth Bomber. Show highlights include the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Demonstration Team, a simulated-bombing run performed by U.S. Air Force B-1B Bombers, and the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team. Other features include food vendors, Friday night fireworks, and military and civilian static aircraft displays.

Show times

Gates will open Friday, Aug. 5 at 4 p.m. with show time from 6-9:45 p.m. The evening will conclude with a fireworks display by DAC Productions. On Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 6-7, gates will open at 9 a.m. with show time from noon to 5 p.m. The show will be similar all three days. (All military acts are subject to availability.)

Ticket sales—advance discounts

Beginning Friday, July 15 through Tuesday, Aug. 2, discounted advance ticket sales for Saturday and Sunday shows will be available at more than 35 area Road Rangers, at the RFD administration office (adjacent to the terminal at 60 Airport Drive, Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.), or online at General admission tickets for the Friday evening show will be available for $4 at the gate (no advance Friday ticket sales). General admission tickets for the Saturday or Sunday shows will be $8 in advance, $10 at the gate, tickets for children 5-12 will be $3 in advance or $4 at the gate. Children younger than 5 are free.

Parking—free shuttle bus service

The air show viewing area will be just off the runway with off-site parking available at five lots located within a brief shuttle ride of the viewing area. Free shuttle bus service will be provided from all off-site lots, with buses departing in 15-minute intervals beginning Friday at 3:45 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 8:45 a.m. Parking in the terminal lot will be reserved for the traveling public, and access on Airport Drive will be closed off to AirFest attendees during the three-day event.

Signage will be posted throughout the area directing spectators to these five remote parking lots: Lot A: Faith Center (4701 S. Main St.); Lot B: former MGF Industries/National Lock (east of the Airport Drive & Kishwaukee Street intersection); Lot C: former Police pistol range (Blackhawk Road east of Falcon Road); Lot D: strip lot (on Falcon Road across from fire station); Lot E: Assembly Drive (corner of Assembly Drive and Airport Drive).

Show highlights

Show highlights (similar all three days) include: world-famous U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team; USAF Blackhawk Helicopter Team tactical airborne demonstration; Rich’s Incredible Pyros featuring USAF B-1B Lancer Bombers; B-2 Stealth Bomber and F-117 Stealth Fighter Flybys; USAF F-15 Eagle tactical demonstration; Aeroshell Aerobatic Team; USAF A-10s; Vlado Lanoch’s P-51 Mustang; Joe Dopley’s Pitts S-2B; Lima Lima Aerobatic Flight Team; Firebirds Delta Aerobatic Team featuring the Sukhoi SU29; Dave Darcy/Tony Kazian Wing Walkers; WS Navy F-18 Hornet tactical demonstration; US Jet Team’s Fouga Magister CM 170 jets; Airline History Museum’s TWA Lockheed Twin Constellation “Star of America”; Fireworks show (Friday only).

Static aircraft displays

C-5A galaxy, KC-135, A-6 Intruder, A-10 Thunderbolt, F-18 Hornet, F-16 Falcons, UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter, T-37, T-6A, B-1B Lancer Bomber, plus many warbirds.

Hundreds of volunteers are needed for Rockford AirFest 2005. Volunteer opportunities will be available prior to and during the weekend of the show. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Marge Bevers at (815) 969-4403 or e-mail her at A printable Volunteer Form is available at

Sponsorships available

Current sponsors include: DAC Productions, LaMonica Beverages, Lorden Distributors, Pepsi and Road Ranger. Businesses are invited to help support Rockford AirFest 2005 by placing an ad in the Souvenir Program. Ad space is available for as little as $150. A limited number of Corporate Chalets are also available and include: 100 VIP AirFest tickets, 50 VIP parking passes, and a private tent area that is “front and center” at the air show. For more information, contact Tonya Lamia at (815) 987-9059 or

Additional Rockford AirFest 2005 information is also available at or by calling (815) 969-4000.

From the July 20-26, 2005, issue

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