25th Annual Salute to Veterans Airshow celebrates Memorial Day

Colonel Larry Lumpkin of the Commemorative Air Force, left, prepares to take off in a North American Aviation P-51 Mustang known as “Gunfighter” at the 25th Anniversary 2013 Salute To Veterans Air Show held at the Columbia Regional Airport on Saturday.

Colonel Larry Lumpkin of the Commemorative Air Force, left, prepares to take off in a North American Aviation P-51 Mustang known as “Gunfighter” at the 25th Anniversary 2013 Salute To Veterans Air Show held at the Columbia Regional Airport on Saturday.

Many Jefferson City residents made their way to Columbia Regional Airport on Saturday to enjoy the 25th annual Salute to Veterans Airshow, kicking off the Memorial Day weekend celebrations.

The two-day event began Saturday featuring 10 demonstration teams showing their aerobatic skills at the free airshow.

Candice Shockley commuted to the event from the Jefferson City Memorial Airport, where shuttles took attendees to and from the Columbia location. Shockley said she and her 3-year-old son Jae are no strangers to the airshow festivities. She said her grandfather was with the National Guard and once trained many to do the types of demonstrations seen Saturday.

“We come as often as we can,” Shockley said. “(Jae) just loves it.”

Shockley said the weather was a bit chilly for the event, but both she and Jae loved watching the show.

The cool weather and early threat of rain slightly dampened the experience for Felicia and Jason Vest, and their two daughters, Laurissa, 5, and Kristina, 3, but they said overall, they had a great time.

“It was just rainy,” Felicia Vest said. “(Laurissa and Kristina) were getting cold.”

Felicia Vest said the girls loved watching the demonstrations, though at one point Laurissa was afraid the planes would fall out of the sky.

“(Laurissa) was just enthralled with it,” Jason Vest said.

Sierra Cotten was looking forward to her first airshow, accompanying a friend and his son. She said the early rain wasn’t enough to stop her from attending.

“I think seeing the planes and stuff would be kind of neat,” Cotten said. “I’m sure it’s going to be crazy.”

The airshow continues from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. today. Admission and parking is free, and shuttles operate from Jefferson City Memorial Airport for $3 round-trip.

For more details, see www.salute.org

Related article:

Variety of Memorial Day activities set to honor veterans

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