Community invited to help welcome Blue Angels

Community  invited to  help welcome  Blue AngelsBy REBECCA NEIPP

News Review Staff Writer

While details are being finalized for the upcoming visit from the Blue Angels, scheduled Saturday and Sunday, March 18-19, at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, a community reception is being planned to give residents an opportunity to meet aerial performers in the upcoming air show.

The event will be held Friday, March 17, from 6-9 p.m. in the Kerr McGee Center.

“We would love to have everyone come out and welcome all of our air show performers,” said Mike Cash of Operation Family Fund, presenting sponsor of the air show.

He said that the event will include live music from the popular Station Street Band, a presentation of colors from the Honor Guard, and introductions and presentations by air show officials and performers.

The reception is open to the public free of charge. Tommy T’s will be on hand selling beverages, and local vendors will be selling food.

“This is the only offsite event for the public for this show,” said Cash. “We are prepared to see between 1,200 and 1,600 people come through the Kerr McGee Center.”

Air show officials are estimating crowds between 45,000 and 60,000 over the course of the weekend.

“We’ve got people coming from all over for this event,” said Cash, who said that some local hoteliers reported selling out months ago for the event weekend.

Operation Family Fund will be sponsoring the reception, said Cash.

“Air shows are typically sponsored by corporate interests,” he said. “I thought it was time for a foundation to sponsor an event like this and raise awareness for our active-duty military, veterans and their families,” he said.

Cash launched OFF 14 years ago to help wounded veterans. The operation has since raised more than $3 million and helped more than 3,000 families.

For more information about OFF visit operationfamilyfund.org.

For tickets or more information about the air show, visit chinalakeairshow.com.

Story First Published: 2017-03-03