MILLVILLE — For Phil and Glen Weiss, of Philadelphia, the Millville Wheels and Wings Air Show held a special significance.
The father-son duo have gone to at least 30 shows together, but Saturday’s show at the Millville Airport marked the final one they would attend together for a while. On Thursday, Phil Weiss, a second lieutenant in the Air Force, leaves for Edwards Air Force Base in California.
“It’s going to be tough, but we are going to have a blast today,” said Glen Wilson, 63. “It brings me back to when he was 2 years old at Willow Grove and he was on the shoulders as the Blues (the Blue Angels) did a sneak pass and all of the other children were crying and he was laughing.”
The show featured a performance by the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels as well as other acts. The show continues Sunday with the gates opening at 9 a.m.
“We are expecting between 20,000 to 25,000 people per day because the weather is excellent,” said Lisa Jester, air show coordinator. “People love the Blue Angels and they have been here in 10 years.”
Millville is the only location in the state where the Blue Angels will perform this year. The pilots fly F/A-18 Hornets that cost about $21 million each. They can travel at nearly twice the speed of sound and perform precision aerobatic maneuvers.
“I love the Blue Angels,” said Lisa David, 50, of Millville, as she waited for the show to start. “I came a couple of years ago and had a great time.”
Jared Stevens, 23, of Vineland, said the air show is the perfect way to kick off Memorial Day weekend.
“It’s a great show,” Stevens, 23, of Vineland, said Saturday morning as he rushed to grab a coveted spot on the grass at the airport. “There is so much to do here. There is a great mix of acts and displays.”
When the gates opened at 9 a.m people, carrying blankets and chairs scurried to find perfect viewing spots. A steady stream of people flowed into the airport throughout the day.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said Matt Gallagher, 32, of Franklinville, as he sat with his 2-year-old daughter, Keira, and his 1-year-old son, Michael. “It gives us something to do.”
As the planes flew over, Keira jumped up and down and pointed to the passing planes.
Phil Weiss said he hadn’t thought much about it being the last show for a while with his dad.
“Hopefully I will be able to get him out there for a show,” Weiss said. “I’ll think about it after it’s over on the ride home.”