UPDATE: “Due to inclement weather, today’s Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach is canceled. The show will go on as scheduled for Sunday, May 26, from 10 AM to 3 PM.” — Jones Beach Air Show officials.
Long Islanders are expected to flock to Jones Beach for the 10th annual Bethpage Air Show this Memorial Day weekend, a welcome respite from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.
Over the roars of the aircraft practicing for the show, George Gorman, deputy regional director of New York Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, shared his enthusiasm for the reopening of the Jones Beach Boardwalk and his optimism for this year’s show. He expects a quarter of a million spectators, same as in 2011, the last year that there was not a military performance.
Debuting at the airshow will be Rob Holland Ultimate Airshows, the Raiders Demonstration Team, the Misty Blues All-Woman Skydiving Team and the Miss GEICO Speedboat. Also, Dusty, star of “Disney’s Planes” will be making his first air show appearance. It will be The Royal Canadian Air Force F18 Demonstration Team’s second time performing for this event.
According to Kirk Kordeleski, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bethpage Federal Credit Union, which sponsors the air show, the event is a great tribute to the nation’s service men and women. He also sees it as a chance to give back.
“We must recognize that Long Islanders are still in need,” Kordeleski said. He suggested that visitors purchase $10 “Rebuilding Long Island Shore to Shore” t-shirts from tents on the boardwalk because proceeds go to United Way of Long Island’s partner program with Bethpage to support Long Island families affected by Hurricane Sandy.
“We’re pleased to be here and are amazed that it was rebuilt,” said GEICO pilot Jim Record, representing the airshow’s performers.
Gorman said the event contributes $15 million to Long Island’s economy. In honor of the airshow’s 10th anniversary, he served a cake featuring a replica of the famous Jones Beach Water Tower.
This year the air show also have an app that gives users up-to-the-minute information on parking field availability, full access to listen to the show live and the ability to listen to live aircraft-to-tower communications from Republic Airport.
The airshow is scheduled for Saturday, May 26 and Sunday, May 27 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Parking is $10.