Abbotsford Airshow’s much-anticipated return begins

Click to play video: 'Abbotsford Airshow celebrates its 60th anniversary' Abbotsford Airshow celebrates its 60th anniversary
WATCH: It's the Abbotsford Airshow's 60th anniversary, and they'll be flying high this weekend with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds headlining the show. Thunderbird Captain Kaity Toner joins Global News Morning – Aug 5, 2022

For the first time since the pandemic began, the beloved Abbotsford Airshow is back.

Friday marks the 60th anniversary of the popular event.

“The airshow’s event grounds and attractions are open (Friday), inviting spectators to wander more than 300,000 square feet of static aircraft displays, and enjoy the McDonald’s KidsZone adventure playground,” airshow staff said.

Click to play video: 'USAF Thunderbirds headline 2022 Abbotsford Airshow' USAF Thunderbirds headline 2022 Abbotsford Airshow
USAF Thunderbirds headline 2022 Abbotsford Airshow – Aug 5, 2022

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The event covers all the bases, including “more than 30 food trucks offering everything from festival classics like burgers and mini-donuts to exotic cuisines from around the world.”

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds won’t be flying in this year’s show after one of their planes was damaged during a takeoff earlier this week in Fort St. John.

Instead, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will be among this year’s headline performers.

Air Force pilots will be flying F-16 jets – which can reach more than 1,100 kilometres an hour – on Saturday and Sunday.

“(F-16 jets) can go up to Mach 2 but you won’t see that this weekend. We don’t want to shatter any glass around here, so instead of breaking the sound barrier, you will see us go 550 mph,” said Capt. Kaity Toner, a US Air Force Thunderbird spokesperson.

“We’ll do loops, we’ll do rolls, and we have a few sneak passes that I won’t give away. It will be loud and it will be exciting.”

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Gates open for the event at the Abbotsford International Airport at 3 p.m. Friday and will close Sunday evening.

Friday night festivities include fireworks, a drone lights show and a presentation done by hot air balloons.

The Abbotsford International Airshow is a presentation of world-class military demonstration teams, civilian aerobatic performers and legendary vintage warbirds.

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Team Canada wins the 2022 Honda Celebration of Light – Aug 2, 2022

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