WILLIAMSTOWN - Everything is ready for the 2012 Air Expo, which begins at 11:55 a.m. today at the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport.
The performers were given a chance to mingle with area pilots, event organizers and volunteers on Saturday evening during a dinner held for them by the Mid-Ohio Valley Aviation Association at hangar 5.
"This dinner was just something that the MOVAA felt was something we could do to support and welcome the acts and to thank the supporters of the air show," said Jim Bennon with the association.
Photo by Jolene Craig
Inflatables for the Kidz Zone activities are set up near the runway of the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport on Saturday evening in preparation of today’s events.
On Friday, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Page Felini and members of Team RV, an aerobatic flying team, went into Harmar and Williamstown elementary schools and a Team RV member said the trip made a lasting impression on students.
"We were in Marietta (Friday) night having dinner at a pizza place and one little girl came up to (pilot) James Clark and said 'you're Chatterbox,' calling him by his handle," said Kari Morris with the team. "It was really cute."
While the performers at the air show will get a lot of credit, it takes an army of volunteers to get the event going, said emcee Hugh Oldham.
"These events don't happen by accident," he said. "This is my 20th or 21st air show this season and every one of them has had a group of dedicated citizens and pilots who have volunteered their time to help and it takes so many to make it happen."
Dawn Wilson with Camden Clark Medical Center is heading a team of teen volunteers from the hospital who have helped work the last four air shows.
"We will have 60 volunteers at the airport for the air show," she said. "We want to give to the community as much as we do the hospital and this is a great way to do that."
Wilson said volunteering at the air show teaches the teenagers to give of their time and talents.
"It teaches the kids that volunteering today will make them more apt to volunteer when they are adults and give back in many ways," she said. "If they give now, they will give later and that makes a strong community."
For the Sunday air show, Team RV will join other acts new to the show acts including wing walker Jane Wicker, who climbs, walks and hangs on her biplane's wings, the aerobatic team the Iron Eagles, Trojan Horsemen and Sky Soldiers.
The Kidz Zone with "Adventures in Aviation" will have inflatables, a climbing wall and other aviation-oriented activities.
The event will begin at 11:55 a.m. with the opening ceremony and will end around 5 p.m.
Shuttles will begin running at 9:30 a.m. with park and ride locations being at West Virginia University at Parkersburg, the Williamstown Welcome Center, the parking lot at Second and Butler streets in Marietta and the Marietta Kroger parking lot near the visitor information center.