Shutik Isht Ia, or Take to the Skies!
Airfest returns to Durant
Choctaw Code Talkers to be honored at airfest
Take to the Skies AirFest gets ready for second annual show in Durant! Shutik Isht Ia!
Durant welcomes back this Festival of Aviation featuring a full Aerobatic Air Show and family festival to be held at the Durant Regional Airport–Eaker Field on Saturday, March 29, presented by the Choctaw Casino.
“Shutik Isht Ia” is the Choctaw translation for “Take to the Skies”! Debby Standefer, President of the Take to the Skies AirFest, stated “we are very exited to be returning and promoting the City of Durant and their beautiful airport as well as the unique opportunity to feature cultural information and education of the Choctaw Nation.” This will be the first Air Show of the season in Oklahoma and North Texas. Actually, this is not just an event; it is an experience that will affect all of your senses with something to offer every age.
Standefer says, “We are proud to honor our military during our show and this year feature a Celebration of the Choctaw Code Talkers. The Choctaw were actually the original Code Talkers and we are honored to celebrate them.” Opening Ceremonies Saturday afternoon at the start of the air show will be action packed including Choctaw dancers and singers, honor guards, flybys, skydivers and more!
“We are excited to sponsor the 2nd annual Take to the Skies AirFest at the Durant Regional Airport. This inspiring event is a perfect outing for the entire family. We expect this year’s event to be bigger and better than last year! It’s a must see!” stated Arlene Alleman, Corporate Director of Marketing for presenting sponsor Choctaw Casinos. Durant is home to the headquarters of the Choctaw Nation and the Choctaw Casino and Resort with its AAA 4 Star rating. Come join for the AirFest and stay for the weekend. There’s a lot to see and do! Durant, known as the City of Magnolias is a charming city. The airport boasts a beautiful new terminal and was named after General Ira Eaker, an aviation pioneer and war hero. Lake Texoma, the 12th largest lake in the US is only 15 minutes away.
The event opens at 10 a.m. Saturday. Before and after the air show you will be entertained with helicopters, airplanes, warbirds, Commemorative Air Force, powered hang gliders and parachutes, skydivers, radio control aircraft and more, in static displays and demonstrations. Southeastern Oklahoma State University Aviation Sciences Institute is located at the airport. They have a phenomenal aviation program and a flight team who dominates their competitions. Flights for the public will be available throughout the day in helicopters, airplanes, warbirds and biplanes. Wander through concessions of delicious foods, exhibits and booths. The giant Kids’ Area has a variety of attractions for different ages. There are a lot of activities for the kids and Choctaw Nation cultural activities, reenactments, dancing and music. There is so much to see and do!
The Air Show begins at 2 p.m. with a variety of airplanes performing dramatic flights and aerobatic performances, a thrilling sight for all! Mike “Spanky” Gallaway, announcer for the famous Red Bull Air Races and other prestigious events will have you jumping in excitement as he announces the show and flies as well! The stars of the show are the breathtaking Trojan Phlyers Demo Team with their astounding formation aerobatics that will keep you on the edge of your seat! Piloted by highly decorated combat veteran pilots performing exciting precision close formation aerobatic routines demonstrating the cutting edge performance of the Trojan T28 warbird and the flying expertise acquired in formal military training, the Trojan Phlyers demonstrate high speed action with the roar of the big engines as they fly their historic aircraft rich in military history in a unique and thrilling performance and salute the veterans or our great nation and the men and women who continue to serve and protect us today. Blue Skies Parachute team will perform and a great line up of performers are set to fly for you. We are still adding performers!
Take to the Skies AirFest promises to provide something for everyone in an action packed day of fun for the entire family! The mission of the AirFest is to encourage young adults to become involved in aviation, thereby contributing to better future adults. Education, literacy and health are our focus. Bring the entire family and introduce them to the vast wonderful world of aviation and show them how they can become involved. You will love it!
The AirFest looks forward to working with local services and organizations. Non-profit organizations are invited to participate to raise awareness and funds. We look for volunteers and groups to assist on show day and are still taking applications for vendors, exhibitors and sponsors. “Sponsorship is invaluable to an event. It enables the event to grow in every way. The Take to the Skies AirFest relies on sponsorships so that we can keep this a very low cost event to the public and to continue to grow the show each year. We work with our sponsors to develop active integrated programs not only to promote the sponsor and assist them in achieving their marketing goals, but to create a positive experience on site for the public. The attendance this event garners not only locally, but from spectators throughout the state, Lake Texoma, North Texas and Dallas gives us the ability to market not only our sponsors but to showcase and promote our growing airport and the wonderful city of Durant while at the same time becoming an important revenue source for the city through lodging, retail and food sales in town through the weekend. We are honored to have the support of Durant Regional Airport-Eaker Field, the City of Durant, to work with the Choctaw Nation and proud to promote these incredible entities, the Choctaw Casino Resort, and to showcase Durant as a destination location,” Debby Standefer said.
Be sure to follow Take to the Skies AirFest on Facebook and Twitter for the latest information, and visit our website for our schedule and detailed information updated as new information comes available. Online discounted tickets for the festival are only $8 for 13 and up, $5 kids 6-12, Seniors 65+ and military with ID. Kids under 6 free. Truly an experience and one you won’t soon forget, the Take to the Skies AirFest will take off Saturday March 29th 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. We’ll look forward to seeing you there!
For more information please visit our website, http://www.taketotheskiesairfest.com or Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/taketotheskiesairfest.