As was the case with the Meghan Trainor concert in September, 2016, the Strait area has once again proven itself more than capable of hosting large scale events.
On May 30, over 2,300 people gathered at the Port Hawkesbury Airport for the Atlantic Canada International Air Show.
Just a few days after the air show, Celtic Air Service Ltd. vice-president Damian MacInnis said the public response in the form of social media comments and phone calls was “overwhelming.”
The event featured several air craft on display, four food venders, displays by the Canadian Forces and local volunteer fire departments, the music of Eastbound, the emceeing of 101.5 The Hawk, and one of the signature showpieces of the Canadian military, the Canadian Forces 431 Air Demonstration Squadron – otherwise known as the Snowbirds.
The number of people attending the show was so vast that parking at the facility was impossible for most. Though some parking could be accommodated at the airport and neighbouring business J.B. Mechanical, the majority of folks left their cars at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre and were bused in by Strait Area Transit.
The centrepiece of the evening was the aerial show put on by nine members of the Snowbirds. The pilots put on a display of precision flying never before seen in the skies of the Strait area. The day before the air show, a “Soiree with the Snowbirds” took place at the airport, allowing some folks to rub elbows with the elite pilots.
MacInnis added that several local businesses helped make the event a success, including media partners like The Reporter and 101.5 The Hawk, J.B. Mechanical, National Rent-A-Car, the BaRyKin Bistro, and many others.
The air show is representative of the long term plans of Celtic Air Service to make the Strait area a destination for visitors across the world, MacInnis said. And, the folks at Celtic Air Service aren’t done with big events for the summer, as the company partnered with the Keltic Lodge and Kimberly Ibarra Inc. (a luxury brand developer based out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida) to host a major golf event entitled the Highland Keltic Classic.
Celtic Air Service is looking at bringing in helicopter tours and a charter company in the future.
Although this is a relatively small, rural community with a limited volunteer network and support base, once again, the Strait area was able to successfully host thousands of people for a large-scale, first-time event.
Even minor snags like parking were addressed, other considerations like the participation of volunteer fire departments were clearly sussed out well before hand, there was a healthy support network, and the business community also bought-in to this event.
That is a recipe for success that will hopefully be followed by others in the future embarking on projects of this magnitude.
This is demonstrable proof that this region can host more large scale events in the future.