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Barrie Airshow draws thousands as weekend festivities wrap up


Thousands of spectators lined the shores of Kempenfelt Bay to take in the Barrie Airshow under what was a perfect blue sky all weekend.

Attendees saw a dozen different types of propeller aircraft, ranging from warbirds like the Tiger Moth, Cornell, and P-51 Mustang to aerobatics by the Northern Stars in their Pitts S2Bs.

But the highlight of the weekend was the jets, exclamated by the roars of the CF-18 Hornet that were heard all over Barrie during its demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday. The fighter jet flirted with the sound barrier as it warped, twisted, and turned across the sky above Kempenfelt Bay.

CF-18 Hornet during a demonstration at the Air Show in Barrie (Mike Lang/CTV News).

The Canadian Forces (CF) Snowbirds were the grand finale in the air on both days. The eight CT-114 Tutors flew in tight formations before drawing hearts and other art in the sky with their aerobatic smoke.

"Our Pilots are all extremely skilled," said Philip Rochon, Snowbirds Public Affairs Officer. "It shows the dedication that they have to make the best show we can for all Canadians."

The Airshow was extra special for both present and past Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) members as the RCAF continues to celebrate its 100th anniversary.

"It's a wonderful anniversary," said Larry Arnold, a former RCAF pilot. "It's a great opportunity for everybody to come out and see what the Royal Canadian Air Force is doing."

Among the RCAF veterans in attendance was a 100-year-old World War II pilot and retired Maj.-Gen. Richard Rohmer.

"I'm very thrilled to have that honour and to attend any number of ceremonies in Europe or here in recognition of the Air Force," he told CTV News on Saturday. Rohmer had also attended a D-Day commemoration overseas earlier in the month.

For the City of Barrie, Mayor Alex Nuttall referred to the weekend as the City's Super Bowl during his opening remarks. "Obviously [the Airshow] brings a lot of people from out of town, but it's really special for people who live in the city of Barrie," he told CTV News on Saturday.

Father's Day also added another element to the show on Sunday, as many dads took in the spectacle with their families. In the case of retired pilot Ian Brown, he enjoyed the show with his grandson and daughter, who is also a former pilot.

"It's the best of both worlds," said Brown. "[I'm] with my daughter doing something we both love."
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