There were “oh’s” and “awe’s” and talk about ‘Top Gun’ as patrons of Kelowna watched the Canadian Forces Snowbirds fly over the city on Saturday (July 9) afternoon.
Hundreds of people gathered in City Park and on boats across Okanagan Lake to watch the Snowbirds fly over for an hour to celebrate the Kelowna International Airport’s (YLW) 75th anniversary.
After their performance, the crew landed back at the airport and met with the public for the ‘Wings n’ Wheels’ event at YLW’s KF Centre for Excellence. Kids and adults alike were in awe as they got to meet Snowbirds pilots and team.
On top of seeing some of the planes up close, there was also a car show featuring new and vintage vehicles, food trucks, face painting and gift bags with various items to celebrate the anniversary.
Sam Samaddar, the airport director, spoke to the crowd about the event and thanked the Snowbirds for being a part of the celebration.
Samaddar and YLW gave the Snowbirds a gift basket. Snowbirds Captain Brett Parker returned the favour with a gift of a 2022 Snowbirds lithograph.
“It’s wonderful to be here in Kelowna, getting off to the second start of our season,” said Parker. “It’s been a challenging year for a lot of people actually, including ourselves. Challenges with COVID and it’s obviously great to get back out socializing and meeting everyone and seeing all the fans.”
City councillors Maxine DeHart and Loyal Wooldridge were in attendance, along with YLW’s senior manager of airport operations, Phillip Elchitz and YLW’s senior manager of airport finance and corporate services, Shayne Dyrdal.