Chennault International Airshow Returns to Lake Charles with USAF Thunderbirds, Golden Knights
The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and the U.S. Army Golden Knights will be the main headliners for the 2015 Kia of Lake Charles Chennault International Airshow, set for Oct. 24-25 in Lake Charles.
While any airshow in America would be thrilled to welcome either of those legendary teams, Airshow Director Mary Jo Bayles said having both will make this year's program one to remember.
"For the last show (in 2013), our show fell right in the middle of the government sequester, and so neither of those teams were available," said Bayles. "We're making up for it this year.This is going to be an incredible show."
The Thunderbirds jet team and Golden Knights parachute team represent just a portion of the full lineup, which also includes:
- The AeroShell Acrobatic Team
- The Tinstix Immortals Pyrotechnical Performance
- Pemberton Aerosports Aerobatics and Skydiving
- The Shockwave Jet Truck
- Skip Stewart Airshows
- Kevin Coleman's Extra 300 SHP
- Matt Younkin's Aerobatic Twin Beech 18
- Dan Buchanan's Amazing Towed Hang Glider
On top of the aerial performers, the airshow will feature several famous, rare and historic aircraft in what is known at the "static display." Attendees will get to see these aircraft up-close and in person. Children (who get into the air show for free, by the way), will have interactive cockpit tours, getting the chance to put on actual flight gear and to get a small taste of what real pilots do in the air.
Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs, strollers and sun protection materials, like hats or sunscreen. Also, an airshow can get pretty loud, so everyone -- especially children -- are encouraged to have ear protection, such as ear muffs and/or earplugs. (Earplugs will be available for sale at the show.) Do not, however, bring pets, glass containers, cooking equipment or large beach umbrellas to the show.
Proceeds from the non-profit show benefit STEM (science, engineering, technology and mathematics) education programs for the Calcasieu Parish School Board and SOWELA. The last show, held in 2013, raised over $200,000. Bayles said in donations and sponsorships alone, the show has already raised $300,000 to date.
Tickets will be $22 at the gate on the days of the show, but are going for a reduced price if bought in advance. Children 12 and under get in free, if accompanied by an adult. Parking is free throughout the entire show.