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Barrie Airshow takes flight bringing big boost to local economy

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Thousands of onlookers had their eyes on the skies as the Barrie Airshow, featuring the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, took flight Saturday.

People crowded the shores along Kempenfelt Bay throughout the afternoon to see fan favourites, including the famous Snowbirds.

The group consists of 24 individuals who undergo intense training for the aerial performance.

"Developing the show, working on their skills to fly tutor jets and then they train in Moosejaw, and then they go to Comox. They practice in Comox for about a month to solidify the show," said Capt. Philip Rochon, public affairs officer with the Canadian Forces Snowbirds.

"Every day, they're perfecting the show. So, once they get the maneuvers down, the different shows they do - the high show, the low show, a flat show," the captain added.

Officials with the Snowbirds said they spent the entire winter training together as a team.

"We start from small formations, working our way up to building the whole nine-plane formation and throughout the winter, we're using two to three opportunities a day to go flying and working on our flying in close formation but also working on those splits and the mechanics that go behind all that," said Canadian Forces Snowbirds pilot Capt. Steven Spark.

Two jets fly over the City of Barrie, Ont., as part of the Barrie Airshow on Sat., June 10, 2023.

The Canadian Forces Base Borden, the County of Simcoe, the Downtown BIA and the City of Barrie came together to plan the weekend's event, which brings a significant economic boost to the city.

"Where we expect tens of thousands of visitors here to watch, to spend. They dine, they shop, and they really get a sense of what the flavour of the community is," said Stephannie Schlichter, Barrie's economic and creative development director.

The airshow continues on Sunday in Barrie at 1:00 p.m.

The Snowbirds will conduct 23 shows across Canada as part of its tour.

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