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Barrie Airshow kicks off with unique drone show

A drone show helped kick off the 2024 Barrie Airshow on Fri. June 14, 2024 (Chris Garry/CTV News Barrie). A drone show helped kick off the 2024 Barrie Airshow on Fri. June 14, 2024 (Chris Garry/CTV News Barrie).
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All eyes will be in the skies this weekend as the 2024 Barrie Airshow kicked off Friday night with a free concert 

The airshow will take place over the weekend, and various events will be planned for the whole family. The free event is expected to attract tens of thousands of visitors throughout Simcoe County and the GTA to Kempenfelt Bay.

"This show brings almost as many people as the Canada Day long-weekend celebration, so we're really looking forward to it," said Craig Stevens with the Downtown Barrie BIA.

The festivities began Friday evening with a free concert at Meridian Place featuring Daniel Romano's Outfit and a drone show sponsored by Pratt Homes and the Barn Burner.

The main event will occur on Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. This year's military performers include the Canadian Forces Snowbirds 431 Air Demonstration Squadron, the CF-18 Demonstration Team and the Canadian Armed Forces SkyHawks Parachute Team.

"It's exciting just to see the Snowbirds," said Warminster resident Nancy Cooper as preparations began Friday morning.

One of the Snowbirds even has ties to the region. Initially from Wyevale, Brent Handy will be flying as part of the show.

"It's always cool to perform in your hometown show, right, having grown up just 30 kilometres north of here in Wyevale," Handy said to CTV News. "It's great to be home flying here. I also got my first start at Base Borden."

As a safety precaution, a safety line will be formed from Brentwood Marine to Johnson Beach this weekend. Water access and activities will not be allowed west of the line, including Centennial Park and Minet's Point Park, from 12-6 p.m. this weekend.

Various other activities will take place this weekend, including a special Airshow-themed Open Air Dunlop, which will see a portion of the city's downtown core closed to vehicular traffic and many vendors along the street.

In addition to the military performers, the shows will also feature various civilian performers as well:

  • Northern Starts Aeroteam
  • Mike Tryggvason
  • Stampede Aviation featuring P51 Mustang and Sea Fury
  • Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association
  • Edenvale Classic Aircraft Foundation

To help get around, Barrie Transit is offering a free park n' ride shuttle service from the Allandale Recreation Centre through to the waterfront and the downtown core on Friday until 10:30 p.m.

The shuttle service will also be offered Saturday from 9:50 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. and Sunday from 9:50 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Licensed food vendors will be available at Heritage Park and Will Dwyer Park, which are recommended viewing areas.

According to the City, commentary for the show will be provided on 87.9 FM radio from the waterfront.  

With files from CTV's Rob Cooper.

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