A new acrobatic air show in Arkansas debuts in Bryant on June 19 over Father’s Day weekend. Wings Over Bryant is the only air show scheduled in Arkansas this year and is set to take place at the Saline County Regional Airport.
On the lineup are a range of impressive acts. “Team AeroShell is the number one act in the country,” said Jason Brown, CEO of the Greater Bryant Chamber of Commerce, which is putting on the event. “They fly AT-6 Texans and there are four of them. They have an absolutely beautiful performance and they are the most sought after performance in the country.” The flight team is known for their classic aerobatic moves in close formation.
“We are an acrobatic air show more than anything,” said Brown. “What that means is that these planes are doing impressive stunts in the air…we have the top performers in the country coming.”
Other acts on the agenda include Stephen Covington, who will be there flying a modified Pitts S2S, the ”Raptor”; Kevin Coleman, one of the top acrobatic pilots in the world who will be flying an Extra 300 Acro; Randy Henderson with Texas T-Cart and more. “We also have a jet truck coming, his name is Aftershock,” said Brown. “It is a firetruck and he will go almost 400 mph. He will do a performance and then will race an airplane at the end of the show. It’s going to be impressive. And we also have skydivers that will start and end the show.”
The event is over Father’s Day weekend and kids 12 and under get in free at the gate. You can buy tickets on their website for $20 or from inside a Central Arkansas Big Red store for $15. VIP tickets are also available. On site there will also be a food truck area, displays of aircraft, various booths, and more including a Lil’ Aviators area that is a separate entrance fee.
Brown said the idea for the event was sparked a few years ago after the Saline County Regional Airport hosted the third stop of the Annual Air Race Classic, an all-women cross-country airplane race. The race showed that airplanes can draw a crowd. “We were expecting around 250-300 people to show up and around 3,000 people did,” he said. Wings Over Bryant aims to become a destination event in the state with sights set on modeling itself after the immensely popular air show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The event will also be an opportunity to showcase the 1,200 acre Saline County Regional Airport.
Bryant is around 20 miles from Little Rock and around 35 miles from Hot Springs. Bryant has the distinction of surrounding the geographical center of the state and a historical marker on Ark. 5 marks the spot. The marker was dedicated in 1936 as part of the state’s first centennial celebration. For more information on Wings Over Bryant, visit wingsoverbryant.com.
By Zoie Clift
About Arkansas Tourism
Arkansas Tourism, a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism, strives to expand the economic impact of travel and tourism in the state and enhance the quality of life for all Arkansans. The division manages 14 Arkansas Welcome Centers and employs more than 60 staff members across The Natural State. For more information, visit www.arkansas.com.