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Snow Birds coming to Pemberton air show July 23 is only Lower Mainland flight date By Chris Woodall The Snow Birds are coming. The skies over Pemberton will be filled with red and white streaks when the world famous Snow Birds aerobatics team headlines the 1998 Pemberton Air Show. The second year for the show takes off from a successful first year that saw 1,500 attend free to see Second World War vintage Harvard trainers, Canadian Armed Forces search & rescue 'copter, and a fly-by of a T-33 Silver Star interceptor-fighter. Organizer Bruce Van Mook is shooting for 5,000 people this year. "Those 1,500 showed up last year despite lousy weather, no food and no toilets," Van Mook says of the first year's effort. "We literally threw it together," Van Mook says of the effort he and Joe Battrick made to have an air show that would promote Pemberton's airport facility. The show must have impressed the right military brass, because the Canadian Air Force's Snow Birds don't fly for just anyone. The team is a flight of up to nine aircraft flying Tudor jet trainers. The roster of pilots changes regularly to offer Canada's top guns a chance to fly their best with the best who fly. As well as the Snow Birds, three aerobatics teams will dazzle the folks on the ground. Bill Carter will fly his Pitts Special, Ken Fowler of Courtney will be in an aircraft to be determined and Don Richardson of Coquitlam will throw his Christian Eagle bi-plane through the sky. The Canadian War Birds Association will be back with the bright yellow Harvards and perhaps other historic aircraft. "I'm also trying to get an F-18 and a T-33," Van Mook says. An air show of this scale is an expensive project, Van Mook says, so tickets will be sold this year. "I'm also beating the bushes for corporate sponsors." Tickets go on sale May 1 at $7.50 (adults), and $4 (high school students and seniors). Where tickets will be sold is to be determined, but a good bet is at Pemberton municipal hall. Elementary school-age and under children will be admitted free. A portion of ticket sales will go to Pemberton's Lions Club and the Pemberton Museum, Van Mook says. Because of the crowd expected, a field at Steve Anderson's Adventure ranch will serve as a base for a shuttle service to the airport. Ticket holders can walk or bicycle in, too. "We have the full co-operation of the local golf courses, too," Van Mook says of setting up the air show. The word has gotten out. "There's a lot of excitement in the community," Van Mook says. "We had a call from a guy in Wisconsin who heard about us on the internet." Indeed, a web site developed by Nigel Protter is being planned for early May to provide details on the air show. With this being an off year for the Abbotsford air show and Pitt Meadows announcing it is cancelling its air show this year, the Pemberton show becomes the only air show in the Lower Mainland. The second annual show has the same basic reason for being. "We want to promote the airport," says Van Mook, a Pemberton councillor. "But we also want to build community pride and spirit." There's also a third reason. "Lastly, because I really like aircraft!" Van Mook says. The airport was recently brought within Pemberton's municipal boundary. "That allows us to develop the airport using Pemberton's bylaws," Van Mook says. "They're more practical, especially for things like developing minimum lot sizes." Interest in the airport has already increased. Pemberton Helicopters is building a hangar and the Soaring Centre is planning an office and hangar facility.

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