The Canadian Forces Snowbirds invited excited kids and inquisitive chaperones to learn more about the planes, what it takes to be a pilot, and everything else involved in flying a Canadair CT-114 Tutor aircraft on Wednesday morning.
Local schools were welcomed to the Niagara District Airport for an exclusive meetup before the fundraising event later that evening.
Ruby Brunton, along with many of her classmates from Crossroads Public School, were encouraged to look into the cockpit of the Canadair CT-114 Tutor.
Snowbirds technician Triston “Pope” Popescu was swarmed by eager students while answering questions and explaining the ins and outs of handling the fleet. After teaching about the technical side of handling the aircraft, Popescu asked questions and handed stickers out to the first students to answer; he was met with overwhelming responses and more excited students.
More than 70 volunteers and a host of community sponsors helped make this year’s Canadian Forces Snowbirds show a success on Wednesday, with a sold-out VIP area and almost 1,000 people in the general admission space by 4 p.m.
The event was presented by the Niagara Historical Society and Museum and serves as the organization’s largest fundraiser.
Cheryl Morris, marketing lead of the NOTL Snowbirds committee, said a lot was learned from the event held two years ago.
“We have a lot more volunteers this year, and have a better handle on the parking,” she said.
By 5 p.m., Morris said she didn’t have an accurate tally of the amount raised for the organization, but it was likely around $30,000 before expenses, she said.
Morris did say she was “very happy” with the turnout, though, and deemed the event a success.
It couldn’t have been done without all of the community sponsors and volunteers, she added.
The Town of Nagara-on-the-Lake, Allied Aviation, the Niagara District Airport, Engel and Volkers, Ravine Vineyard, the Exchange Brewery, Konzelmann Estate Winery and PigOut Catering were some of the sponsors to note, she said, though they certainly weren’t all of them.
The event brought the community together to watch the expert flying of Canadian Forces pilots.
Niagara locals, Teresa and Lyndon Palmer, bought themselves tickets to the VIP area for Wednesday’s show to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary.
They said they wanted to support the Niagara Historical Society and Museum and wanted to do something local.