“We’re absolutely ecstatic about that. Absolutely ecstatic. That’s exactly what you want to see it do,” said Shiela Wallace, media relations for the CenterPoint Energy Dayton Air Show.
Projections of estimated attendance numbers first released at a July 24 press conference held up, she said, and even last year was one of the highest attendances they had seen in a while.
The air show saw attendees pour in this year with the weather cooperating and a variety of attractions were available.
“There was something there for everyone, whether you wanted fast moving cars on the ground, whether you wanted general aviation aerobatic aircraft, or very loud high flying military aircraft, so there was absolutely something there for everybody,” Wallace said.
A children’s hangar was also available for families to find more entertainment for kids.
“I think people also enjoy, particularly young families with little kids, knowing that we’ve got a kids’ hangar there, a place where the kids can go and play for a little while,” Wallace said. “It’s a place where they can come and relax and let their kids play and just kind of catch a breath. I think that is also very important to our young families.”
Other changes may have made the difference this year. First, the show required patrons to buy parking vouchers in advance and, second, the show invested “tens of thousands” in a three-lane, half-mile gravel road leading from Northwoods and Engel Road, offering a new entrance to general admission parking for vehicles leaving I-75 at the Northwoods exit.
The 50th Dayton Air Show is scheduled for June 22 and 23, 2024 and will be headlined by the Navy’s Blue Angels.
“People can look for even bigger and better than this year,” Wallace said about the 50th anniversary next year.
Tom Gnau contributed to this story.