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Delight in the sky with the 2011 California Capital Airshow

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One hundred and fifty planes from across the Unites States and Canada will be wowing crowds expected to be upward of 150,000 this weekend according to California Capital Airshow Executive Director Darcy Brewer. The sixth annual airshow – and biggest show to date – will be honoring the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, the 100th anniversary of naval aviation and the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11.

The 2011 California Capital Airshow will take place from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Mather Airport, 3745 Whitehead St. in Mather.

People came from seven different countries last year to see the show, and Brewer said they are expecting those numbers to continue to grow.

“It really is an amazing thing to think that 150,000-plus people will stop and pause to think about two of the most moving events in U.S. history this weekend,” Shelly Blanchard, air show board of directors member and volunteer coordinator said. “It will be a sobering reminder of the high cost of freedom.”

To honor the 10th anniversary of 9/11, there will be a tribute airshow that the Coast Guard and the Air Force will perform.

Tora! Tora! Tora!, a headliner for this year’s show, is a multi-sensory 3D museum which will simulate the events of the Pearl Harbor attack for audiences. Brewer explained that the “ground will rumble under your feet. You will feel the heat from the walls. You will experience a taste of what it would have been like to be at Pearl Harbor during the attacks. It will be meaningful and moving for everyone.”

This year is bigger than ever with 150 planes and pilots who are the “most intensely trained civilian and military pilots on the face of the earth. They will be doing the most amazing maneuvers for the crowds,” Brewer said.

Fighter jets will be flying just short of the speed of sound, Brewer added.

Lt. Col. Jason Smith, a pilot flying in a group of four this weekend, explained that the “crowd will be excited to see how amazing the planes look when flying 3 feet apart at 300mph.”

Families can walk around eating their tasty treats and explore the miles of aircrafts that date as far back as 1918. Many of the planes will be open for kids to crawl through, and the pilots will be standing by, ready to share their stories and explain what the plane was designed for.

There will be an entire area dedicated to entertaining kids called the Kids Zone, which is Hawaiian-themed this year. Brewer explained that there will be “hours of nonstop noise, color and excitement for people of all ages.”

“Everything about the CCA is tied to a nonprofit,” Brewer said, adding that nearly 1,000 volunteers will be working, and 28 charities will receive portions of the profits.

The organization has awarded more than 80 scholarships to students throughout the Sacramento region who plan to attend a college, university, or vocational-technical school to pursue degrees involving science, technology, engineering, math, aviation, aeronautics or aerospace.

Blanchard explained, “When you buy a hot dog at the show, you are benefiting one of the 28 great community organizations, and all of those smiling faces serving it up are all unpaid volunteers.”

Boy scout and girl scout troops from the Sacramento area, as well as Kiwanis, are a few of the community organizations benefiting from this weekend’s show.

General admission is $5 to $12. VIP and package deals are also available. Active duty military are admitted without cost. Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate. Parking on-site will cost $10 and only cash is accepted. Parking vouchers can be purchased online at the California Capital Airshow website. For more information, visit the show’s website here.   

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