ELYRIA — Discover Aviation Days Air Show returns Memorial Day weekend and, for the first time, the event will be spread out over two days, providing more excitement, chills and education than before.
“There was so much going on in just one day that it was almost too much,” said Paul Koziol, organizer of the air show. “This will be a little more relaxed. And it will give those people a chance to come out who couldn’t make it on the first day.”
The air show features acrobats, skydivers and airplane displays. But the focus of this air show is on educating youngsters. The Discovery Zone introduces children to all things aviation, including careers available in the field. There also will be costumed characters to greet children and have pictures taken.
A mini planetarium will show the stars. And all visitors can marvel at the future of aviation — drones.
As in previous years, airplane and helicopter rides will be available for an additional cost. World War II veterans may ride in a B-25 bomber for free with a paid $10 admission.
A night air show, complete with LED displays, pyrotechnics and a night parachute jump, ends the first day, as an interactive story is told to children. Parents will be able to download an app to their smartphone or device that allows children to follow along with the story of “Celeste Steele,” a girl with a dream of aviation.
“Personally, I cannot see my life without aviation,” Koziol said. “It helped me follow my career path. If just one person comes out and thinks, ‘I can learn to fly or be a mechanic or an air traffic controller,’ then it makes it all worth it. Our message really is educating the general public that there is an airport in Lorain County and that the economic value of the airport in the community is great. The people who are here are great. They will help anyone get involved and find something they want to do in aviation.”
For Vicki Koziol, co-organizer of the event, it’s all about the children.
“Our whole goal is to introduce kids to aviation,” she said. “We get them involved in games, different activities, simulators. Watching them get excited about planes is what it’s all about.”
And there will be plenty of planes at the air show.
In addition to the World War II B-25 bomber, visitors will view a 1929 Travel Air biplane, a 1940s Stearman biplane, an EMB 145 50-seat United Express passenger jet, a Dash 8 bombadier, gliders, helicopters and others.
And food, music and vendors.
“It’s a great event,” Vicki Koziol said. “It’s a great way to enjoy the airport. Some kids are going to love it and have his or her life changed.”
Contact Christina Jolliffe at 329-7155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Discover Aviation Days Air Show
- When: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
- Where: Lorain County Regional Airport, 44050 Russia Road, Elyria
- Cost: $10 admission for those 18 and older; 17 and younger are free; free parking; blankets and chairs are permitted
- For more information: Call (440) 236-6594; visit www.discover-aviation.org; or visit on Facebook.