This summer, the Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival is embarking on a weeklong Independence Day air show extravaganza. From June 28 through the Fourth of July, the event will hold two different air shows: The Warbird Salute Air Show and the Fast & Furious Air Show, a twilight and night show, a carnival, a 5K half-marathon, a series of concerts, a hot air balloon festival and a closing July Fourth firework display.
“It’s still all about creating that festival, that family atmosphere,” said Executive Director Barbara Haluzska. “Let people wander around and choose what they want to see and do.”
Throughout the weeklong event, the Battle Creek team is implementing a number of different deals and promotions to drive attendance, even when there is no air show scheduled for that particular day. For example, the team is putting on Thirsty Thursday, a half-day event where parking and admission are free for all and gives attendees the chance to spend an evening visiting vendors, the carnival and the first concert of the week.
“As long as you’ve got the volunteer force with which to do it, and can create a budget that you think you can knock it out of the ballpark with or, at least, be able to cover those expenses from a performer standpoint, go for it!” Haluzska said.
While putting on a seven-day air show may seem daunting to some, Haluzska believes this event’s unique structure is actually a strength.
“With us doing it like this, I don’t think it’s risky business,” Haluzska said. “If anything, it’s smart because if we got rained out the first weekend, we have another two days of just air show.”
The Warbird Salute Air Show will have a vintage military aircraft theme and take place on Saturday, June 30 through Monday, July 1. On that Tuesday, July 3, and Independence Day, the festival will transition to the Fast & Furious Air Show, which will include more jets and aerobatic acts.