The show will go on this Saturday for the third annual Wings Over Harnett Fly-in at Harnett Regional Jetport. This year’s fly-in, presented by Campbell University, will take on special significance following Hurricane Matthew as the fly-in will honor first responders in the county with a special presentation.
During its first two years, Wings Over Harnett has become a popular event for Harnett County residents, drawing thousands to the jetport for a free annual event that includes exciting aerial displays along with plenty of entertainment on the ground.
Event organizers hope this year’s fly-in will also provide a much needed break for residents of Harnett and surrounding counties who are still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, some who are still without power.
“Harnett County was severely affected by Hurricane Matthew and there remains a lot of work to be done to get back to normal,” said Wings Over Harnett Committee Vice President Brian Haney. “We see this year’s Wings Over Harnett Fly-in as an opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate Harnett County’s resilience and all we have to be thankful for.”
He said back in the spring, when the committee began preparing for this year’s fly-in, they decided to honor Harnett County’s first responders in addition to members of the U.S. Military.
“We were already planning on recognizing our first responders,” said Haney, “but we’ve been reminded this week of just how tirelessly they work to keep us safe and how essential they are for our communities. We can’t thank them enough for what they do for us.”
This weekend’s event will also provide residents with several ways to give back and contribute to those in need. A station will be set up to collect canned and nonperishable food donations to assist with Hurricane Matthew relief efforts. The Marine Corps Reserve will also be present to collect toys for its annual Toys for Tots drive.
This Saturday’s fly-in will be held from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. with gates opening at 9 a.m. An opening ceremony will be held at 10:10 a.m. and will feature special recognition of first responders.
Events will include a jump by the All Veteran Parachute Team at 12:30 and a water drop demonstration from N.C. Forestry Services if the agency, which has been assisting with hurricane relief efforts, is able to send resources. Numerous aircraft will also be on display.
There will be music and entertainment throughout the day including students at Ellington Studios performing classic rock songs from the opening ceremony onward until the Will McBride Group takes the stage at 1 p.m.
Additional attractions include helicopter rides, plenty of food and craft vendors with items for sale and information, inflatables and games for the kids, face painting and much more!
Event parking will be available near the jetport with transportation to and from the event area. The cost for parking is $5 per vehicle.
Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets.
“We’re looking forward to hosting the fly-in this weekend and hope it will be something that will give people an opportunity enjoy some free entertainment and to relax, at least for a little while,” said Haney. “We’re grateful to Campbell University and the rest of our sponsors for helping us put this event on. We couldn’t do it without them.”