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Wings Over Golden Isles gets off ground Friday

The Blue Angels demonstration team will perform in Brunswick at the rescheduled Wings Over the Golden Isles show. It will be held March 24-26 at the Brunswick-Golden Isles Airport.

Things are pretty hectic in John Cowman’s life these days. After nearly a year has passed since first announcing the Wings Over Golden Isles Air Show, the producer is just days away from seeing his vision realized.

It was a journey with one major detour — Hurricane Matthew — which struck the Isles just before the show was to get off the ground. But rescheduling proved to be a blessing in disguise, the new dates, March 24-26, allowed Cowman to book the Navy’s Blue Angels for the event.

“This is an air show on steroids. It’s very rewarding to be able to bring this show to town … bringing the Blue Angels and the Raptor, along with everything else, it just doesn’t get better than this as far as air shows go,” he said.

And the public’s interest is certainly piqued. While Cowman will not offer an estimation on ticket sales, he will say that the response has been strong, with purchases being made in various states.

“I never really guess on the crowd size. But we are seeing a really good response. The thing that’s really good is the reach we’re having … we are reaching into 27 different states across the nation including Alaska,” he said. “For every three tickets we sell, two are coming from out town.”

Cowman and his team do expect to see a large crowd. Projections offered by the company include 50,000 over the course of the three day event. He feels that figure is toward the low end of the spectrum.

“I would be disappointed if it was less than that. I don’t expect for it to be with the scale of show that we’re bringing and the performer liner up,” Cowman said.

Of course, it takes a lot of work to stage a show this size as well. Cowman and his crew were already en route to the area Friday morning, bringing truckloads of equipment to the Brunswick airport.

“We’re in transition right now. It’s a big one. We’re coming down from Atlanta to start setting up for the show. We are basically going to build a city over the next few days,” he said by phone Friday.

“We have to set up our office and get all of the equipment there. It is a lot of logistical pieces. The (aircraft control) tower will go up Tuesday, then it has to get certified. The first Blue Angel arrives Wednesday to make sure everything is in order, then the full team will come down.”

In addition to the Blue Angels, other military and civilian acts will be on hand. Among others, that includes the Aerial Combat Command F-22 Demonstration and Heritage Flight Team, the USSCOCOM Para Commandos and AeroShell Aerobatic Team.

Other weekend highlights will include a concert by .38 Special, which was originally slated to perform Saturday when the show was set for October. They will now take the stage Friday evening, followed by a twilight air show. A Parade of Veterans will also take place Saturday afternoon during a special tribute.

Gates will open at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Brunswick Golden Isles Airport, with the show beginning at 6:45 p.m. The concert will begin at 9 p.m. at the airport. On Saturday and Sunday, gates open at 9 a.m. with shows beginning at 11:30 a.m. on both days. Tickets are available at the gate or online at wingsovergoldenisles.com.

Tickets purchased for the October show will be honored at the gate and no exchange is needed. Patrons my exchange their ticket for a single day admission ticket on Friday, Saturday or Sunday for the March 2017 event. General Admission tickets will be honored any day of the air show weekend. Premium seats will only be honored for the respective day purchased for the cancelled fall air show (Sunday tickets may only be used on Sunday).

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