July 23 air show getting bigger Tickets on sale May 1 By Chris Woodall The word has been out little more than a week, but already Bruce Van Mook is getting calls from across North America to participate in or see the Pemberton Air Show, July 23. "We got a call from a guy in the U.S. Air Force who wanted to know if we'd like to see a fly past of a C-141 Galaxy," says Van Mook of the huge transport aircraft. Another offer has come in to make a Russian Second World War Yak available. Other calls have come from Florida and Washington states. The Pemberton air show second edition should be a popular event with Abbotsford and Pitt Meadows air shows out of the skies for this year. Tickets go on sale May 15 in Pemberton and Whistler. Last year's event attracted 1,500, but Van Mook is gunning for 5,000 visitors this year. "This isn't a commercial venture, it's to raise money for charity," says Van Mook, a Pemberton Village councillor. The Snow Birds aerobatics team of the Canadian air force will be the headliners. All 11 Tudor jets will be on hand, but how many will fly in any single formation has yet to be determined, Van Mook says. The Snow Birds won't be fly-by-night visitors, either. They are due to arrive July 22, perhaps flying a "teaser" route over neighbouring communities. The pilots may spend some time in the area. They depart for Prince George on the Friday, July 24. The gates will open — parking is off-site — at 8 a.m., kicked off with a pancake breakfast. Until noon, visitors can inspect aircraft or go up for rides. The air show shakes the mountain air of the Pemberton Valley from 1 to 4 p.m. After that sightseers can return to the tarmac of Pemberton air field to get close up and friendly with participating helicopters, jets and other powered birds. "It could go longer as more aircraft come on board," Van Mook says. A big factor in making the air show a success are the volunteers, Van Mook says. Last year's volleys helped make the first air show successful enough to bring on this year's model, Van Mook says. "I'd love to get 40 to help out with traffic control, parking and crowd control." Call him at 894-6685 only to enlist as a volunteer. A hotline will be set up for all other enquiries. "Volunteers can come from anywhere: Whistler, Lillooet or beyond," Van Mook says of encouraging more than just Pembertonians to get involved. "This is going to be fun. This is the first time I can think of that a major event has a Pemberton focus," Van Mook says of the hamlet's existence in the "shadow" of Whistler resort. "Usually with the World Cup and other events it's Whistler-Whistler-Whistler." All roads — and flight paths — now lead to Pemberton.