Wings Over Alpena

Wings Over Alpena
The Awesome Mitten - Wings Over Alpena
Photo courtesy of the Wings Over Alpena website.

The northeast side of Michigan offers beautiful beaches, breath-taking views of Lake Huron, and also–air shows. Are you headed up north for the weekend? Do you have an interest in fighter jets? Come up to Alpena, Michigan for Wings Over Alpena!

Wings Over Alpena is a biennial air show held at the Combat Readiness Training Center of the Michigan Air National Guard in Alpena, Michigan. This year’s festivities will be happening on Saturday, August 18, 2012. The gates open at 8 am and close at 6 pm. Admission and parking is free for event attendees. An inexpensive way to wrap up the summer, Phil Agius, director of finance and sponsorships for the event, explains, “Wings Over Alpena is free due to the fact that the Alpena CRTC has agreed to open its’ gates to the public for the day. Private flying performers are sponsored by over 200 local businesses, individuals, and grants. There are many benefits & unique opportunities for sponsors.”

The Awesome Mitten - Wings Over Alpena
Photo courtesy of the Wings Over Alpena website.

The Training Center hosted the first Wings Over Alpena show in 2008. Agius tells me this year’s event will feature a “F-86 (Sabre Fighter) and a T-33 (Shooting Star),” commented Phil Agius, director of finance and sponsorships for the event.  Two years ago an “A-10 (Thunderbolt II)” was the featured jet.  This family-friendly event offers close-up viewings of a variety of jets, activities for kids including an inflatable area, and the feature: four hours of flying demonstrations and performances.

This year will be especially exciting because “for the first time ever, EAA’s (Experimental Aircraft Association) 1929 Ford Tri-Motor will be visiting Wings Over Alpena.” There will be rides offered to the public Thursday, August 16 through the evening of Sunday, August 19. Ticket packages will be available for purchase; for prices, please click here.

The Awesome Mitten - Wings Over Alpena
Photo courtesy of the Wings Over Alpena website.

The flying demonstration begins promptly at 11 am and runs for about 4 hours. Although visitors are not allowed to bring in coolers or picnic supplies, there will be food and beverage options available for purchase on the base. There are some bleacher seating available, but it is never a bad idea to bring along some folding chairs.

For more information, please visit the Wings Over Alpena website for a full list of the attractions or visit them on Facebook.  “If you are interested in becoming a Wings Over Alpena sponsor, please visit our sponsor page,” reminds Agius.

If you love going to air shows, are a lover of jet planes, or you just want to try something new with your friends and family, come check out Wings Over Alpena!  After all, Agius mentions, the best part of the day is just “watching the jets fly.”

~Amy Page, Feature Writer