Get ready for a breathtaking weekend in Barrie as the skies come alive with the Open Air Dunlop Air Show. From June 14-16, 2024, the city will host a magnificent display of aerial acrobatics, parachute maneuvers, and drone shows, making it a must-see event for aviation enthusiasts and families alike. Sponsored by Pratt Homes and in collaboration with the City of Barrie and several other partners, this year’s event is set to be particularly special as it coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).

A Celebratory Beginning

The festivities kick off on Friday evening at 8 p.m. with a free concert at Meridian Place featuring the acclaimed Daniel Romano’s Outfit. This musical start sets the stage for a weekend filled with excitement and wonder. Following the concert, attendees will be treated to a spectacular drone show, with 200 drones lighting up the night sky over Kempenfelt Bay. This unique presentation, with the theme RCAF100, promises to be a visual feast, symbolizing the centennial celebrations of the RCAF.

A Sky Full of Aces

The main attraction of the weekend, the airshow, begins on Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m., with opening addresses starting at 12:30 p.m. The skies above Kempenfelt Bay will host an array of thrilling performances, including:

  • The Canadian Forces Snowbirds (431 Air Demonstration Squadron)
  • The CF-18 Demonstration Team
  • The Canadian Armed Forces SkyHawks Parachute Team
  • Solo aerobatic pilot Mike Tryggvason
  • The Northern Stars Aeroteam
  • Timmermans Legends of Flight P-51 and Sea Fury
  • The Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association
  • The Edenvale Classic Aircraft Foundation

These performances will captivate audiences with their precision, daring, and artistry, showcasing the incredible skills of pilots and the advanced capabilities of their aircraft.

Activities for All Ages

Beyond the aerial performances, the weekend is packed with activities that ensure fun for the whole family. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, Heritage Park, Meridian Place, and Dunlop Street will be buzzing with interactive displays, food vendors, and family-friendly programming. Highlights include:

  • CFB Borden interactive displays and vehicles
  • Open Air Dunlop activities
  • Food and merchandise vendors
  • Patios and live entertainment

For those seeking a bit of refreshment, the Flying Monkeys licensed area at Heritage Park and Donaleigh’s Landshark licensed area and Food Vendor Village at Will Dwyer Park will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on both days.

Exclusive Events and Entertainment

Saturday features additional special events, starting with a performance by the CFB Borden Brass & Reed Volunteer Band at Meridian Place at 4 p.m. This will be followed by a meet and greet with the pilots and crew of the 2024 Barrie Airshow at 8:30 p.m., offering a unique opportunity for fans to interact with the stars of the show. As the evening progresses, at dusk (approximately 9:30 p.m.), there will be a free film screening of “Memphis Belle” at Meridian Place, allowing attendees to wind down with a classic aviation film under the stars.

Prime Viewing Spots

To get the best view of the airshow, spectators are encouraged to gather at Heritage Park, Centennial Park, Will Dwyer Park, Southshore Park, Allandale Station Park, Minet’s Point Park, or any of the small parks along the north and south shores of Kempenfelt Bay. For those who prefer to follow along with show commentary, tuning into 87.9 FM from the waterfront is recommended.

Getting Around and Staying Safe

Barrie Transit is making it easy for everyone to get to the airshow with a free park ‘n ride shuttle service from several locations, including Allandale Rec Centre and H Block parking lot. For those driving, parking will be available within walking distance of the waterfront and downtown.

However, several road closures will be in effect over the weekend:

  • Dunlop Street (Maple Avenue to Mulcaster Street) from 6 a.m. Saturday to 11:59 p.m. Sunday.
  • Simcoe Street (Bayfield Street to Dunlop Street East) from 6 a.m. Saturday to 7 p.m. Sunday.

For those planning to view the show from the water, it is important to note that a safety line will be established from Brentwood Marine to Johnson’s Beach. Then water access will be restricted in this area during the show times to ensure the safety to the public. Restricted activities include boating, swimming, and other water-based activities. Enforcement will be handled by the Barrie Police and their service partners on Lake Simcoe.

Safety Measures and Recommendations

For the personal safety of all spectators, it is advised to take the following precautions:

  • Wear ear protection, especially for children
  • Use sunscreen, wear a hat, and sunglasses
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water

Additionally, due to airspace restrictions, the flying of drones is strictly prohibited during the event.

Open Air Dunlop Air Show Is A Weekend to Remember

The Open Air Dunlop Air Show is not just an event; it’s a celebration of aviation, community, and the rich history of the RCAF. This weekend promises to be filled with awe-inspiring performances, family-friendly activities, and memorable moments. Whether you’re an aviation enthusiast or simply looking for a fun-filled weekend with family and friends, Barrie is the place to be from June 14-16. For more information and a detailed schedule, visit barrie.ca/airshow.

Conclusion

The Open Air Dunlop Air Show is set to be a highlight of Barrie’s summer calendar, offering a blend of spectacular aerial displays, engaging family activities, and a celebration of the RCAF’s centennial. Mark your calendars and prepare for an unforgettable experience from June 14-16, 2024. To find out whats going on in Barrie just click here!

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