With just a week to go before the Canadian Forces Snowbirds take to the skies over White Rock, city councillors got the inside scoop on what’s in store for seaside residents July 27.
“We… have some surprises,” Scott Harrold, a White Rock resident and director of the CHILD (Children Living with Intestinal and Liver Disorders) Foundation, said Monday of the Snowbirds Fly for CHILD aerial performance.
At city hall to promote the fundraiser, Harrold said the thrills are to get underway around 5 p.m. next Wednesday, and include fly pasts by the armed forces Buffalo and the RCMP’s dedicated helicopter, Air 1.
The Canadian Forces SkyHawks parachute team is to also perform. In its 40th year of aerobatic demonstrations, the team’s White Rock appearance is among more than 30 scheduled across North America this season.
For the main event, “smoke-on” is anticipated for 5:45 p.m., when the ‘birds will wow crowds with stunts, smoke and speed – up to 750 km/h.
Harrold noted the time has been co-ordinated with railway officials, to avoid a repeat of what happened in 2008, when a freight train rolled along the waterfront during the performance.
The show will be the Snowbirds fourth Fly for CHILD event in White Rock since 2004. Crowds at the previous shows numbered at least 40,000, and Harrold said it’s hoped as many as 60,000 will take it in this year. The numbers include those who watch from the balconies of organized house parties, he said.
“Your worship, you’re in the charge of the weather,” Harrold quipped.
Describing the show as a “huge, huge endeavour,” Harrold said a safety zone will be in effect on the water.
The area is off-limits to all boaters and will be strictly enforced by Canadian and U.S. authorities.
While aerobatic performance is set for the 27th, Harrold said the real launch takes place the day previous, when children living with intestinal disorders and their families will get to meet the Snowbirds pilots and explore the CT-114 Tudors.
“It is incredible, just to see the smiles on their faces,” Harrold said. “To see that one-on-one is bigger than you can imagine.”
In response to a question from Coun. Lynne Sinclair – who said her niece is coming from San Francisco to see the Snowbirds – Harrold said those hosting house parties are encouraged to add a fundraising element to the festivities.