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Lethbridge International Airshow taking to the skies in 2023

Click to play video: 'Lethbridge International Airshow taking to the skies in 2023'
Lethbridge International Airshow taking to the skies in 2023
The Lethbridge International Airshow will be taking to the sky for the second straight year this summer. This comes after organizers opted to move the 2024 edition ahead one year. As Erik Bay tells us, southern Alberta aviation enthusiasts will have plenty to look forward to in 2023 and beyond. – Feb 17, 2023

After a five-year break, the Lethbridge International Airshow returned in 2022. And it will be taking to the sky again in a matter of months.

Officials announced Friday the show will get off the ground this July, moving it up a year from 2024 when the Royal Canadian Air Force is celebrating its 100th anniversary.

“The best decision for Lethbridge, southern Alberta and the Lethbridge International Airshow was to go in 2023,” president Dallas Harty said. “We had better access to civilian and military performers.

“The other thing is you don’t have as many airshows to compete with.”

Click to play video: 'Lethbridge International Airshow sees record attendance'
Lethbridge International Airshow sees record attendance

“As a performer, I had a great time last year at the show,” said pilot Dan Reeves.

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“Lethbridge, by and large, has been one of the great shows that we’ve been to and I know that tradition is going to continue.”

Earlier this month, city council allocated $17,500 in funding for this year’s air show, while committing the same amount in 2024 for an RCAF anniversary celebration.

Mayor Blaine Hyggen doesn’t have exact numbers, but says the event provides a boost to city businesses.

“The restaurants, the hotels, the service industries and not only that, but the different shops around town — people come in and stay, so there’s definitely economic spinoff,” Hyggen said.

Click to play video: 'Lethbridge International Airshow ready to takeoff'
Lethbridge International Airshow ready to takeoff

According to Harty, last year’s event sold more than 16,000 tickets, but traffic issues created problems for people attending the show.

“We’re going to be opening the gates sooner and just our traffic flow coming into the show is a little bit different procedure but we’ve already had those roundtable meetings to negate that,” Harty said.

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This year’s goal is to have more than 20,000 people attend.

The airshow is planning a scaled-down event to celebrate the RCAF anniversary next year, with a full show returning in 2025.

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