Air Station Traverse City “Open Ramp” will kick off National Cherry Festival Air Show

Hundreds of visitors line the tarmacs at Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Mich., during their Open Ramp event, July 4, 2014. At the event visitors were able to meet with the the Coast Guard air crews but also with crews of other military branches air crews.

Hundreds of visitors line the tarmacs at Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Mich., during their Open Ramp event in 2014.

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — The crew of Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City will host its annual “Open Ramp” event to kick off the 2017 National Cherry Festival Air Show, Friday.

The “Open Ramp” will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and is free and open to the public; parking opens at 5 p.m.

The Air Station will open its gates and allow up-close access to the National Cherry Festival Air Show aircraft where visitors can see the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds F-16 Fighting Falcons, the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18 Super Hornet demonstration team, Michigan Air National Guard A-10 Thunderbolts, and a Royal Canadian Air Force HC-130 Hercules and CH-146 Griffin helicopter.

Air Station Traverse City’s own MH-65 Dolphin and MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters will also be on display alongside numerous other air show performers, aircraft and agency representatives including a Michigan State Police helicopter, 45 North Aviation, Giving Wings Aviation, Northwestern Michigan College of Aviation aircraft and drones, and North Flight EMS aircraft.

The U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute demonstration team plans to “drop” in at approximately 6:30 p.m.

Rory, the daughter of Petty Officer 2nd Class Lauren Laughlin, hangs out with Piper, part of the Cherry Capital Airport K-9 Team. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Lauren Laughlin)

Rory, the daughter of Petty Officer 2nd Class Lauren Laughlin, hangs out with Piper, part of the Cherry Capital Airport K-9 Team. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Lauren Laughlin)

Rain or shine, the “Open Ramp” will give everyone a unique opportunity to get a close-up look at the aircraft and meet the pilots and crews that fly and maintain them. Of special note this year, the Air Force Thunderbirds pilots and crew will be present during the event to meet with attendees. Cherry Capital Airport’s wildlife control canine ‘Piper’ will also be in attendance.

All persons, vehicles and bags will be subject to search. No weapons or animals will be allowed on base, with the exception of service animals. In an effort to reduce security wait times, it is recommended that only small purses and diaper bags be brought onto the base.

Designated parking will be provided on the Coast Guard Air Station located at 1175 Airport Access Road in Traverse City. Parking opens at 5 p.m. Carpooling is highly encouraged, as space available is limited. No parking will be allowed on Airport Access Road, along Airport Access Road’s shoulders, or in the grass along Airport Access Road.

This event is open to the general public and is handicap accessible. The Coast Guard Exchange, located near the entrance, will also be open. The public will have the opportunity to purchase military memorabilia and clothing from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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