After a three-year hiatus, the Vanderhoof International Airshow was back on Aug. 6 to the delight of aero-enthusiasts.
“It was really successful. We were hoping for 4500 to 5000 people and we had probably a little bit over 5000. Everything went really smoothly,” said Anne Stevens, program director, adding that it was an extremely satisfying turnout for the organizers.
“The whole show really, I think exceeded our expectations and hopes,” said Stevens. One challenge, she said, was getting sponsors post-COVID with businesses not having as much to give. But still, the community came through.
“We had over 50 sponsors right from larger amounts to $200 from a mom and pop organization. The community was really involved,” said Stevens. “People really did step up to the plate. I feel like it’s really was a community air show very much like back in the old days.”
Stevens said the airshow is popular with the performers as well.
“For a little town airshow, it is just incredible and the performers love to come here. They love this small town community atmosphere.”
The last time the airshow took place was in 2018 when it drew over 8,000 visitors. That was pre-COVID.
“In between times, we looked at different options. We looked at a drive-thru model and there was just no way that we could really make that work. So it’s been a long hiatus,” said Stevens. “In a lot of ways, it was very much like starting over.”