Wings & Wheels Saturday set for takeoff with fair weather forecast

GEORGETOWN – After back-to-back soggy punches, Wings & Wheels 2017 has the weather gods’ blessing.

Fair weather is in the forecast for Saturday’s six-hour festival at the Delaware Coastal Airport. It runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Harbor Defenses of the Delaware Living History Association members welcome Lt. Col. Dick Cole to Friday night’s Wings & Wheels USO dinner show.

The event, presented by the Delaware Aviation Museum, Wheels That Heal Car Club and Greater Georgetown Chamber of Commerce, features a car show, military encampments, music entertainment, craft and food vendors and an aviation component that includes flour bombing, precision parachute demonstrations and a daylong fly-in.

Among the aircraft on hand: pilot/aviation historian Larry Kelley’s pride and joy B-25 bomber, Panchito, and a T-28 Navy plane piloted by retired Navy TOPGUN pilot/NASA Space Shuttle Commander Joe Edwards, who was among the guest speakers at Wings & Wheels’ Aviation Education Day Friday morning.

Among the aerial events Saturday are precision parachute jumps. While some of the U.S. Naval Academy Parachute Team members are obligated to be in Annapolis when Navy hosts service academy football rival Air Force there will be a Naval Academy presence.

“It will be a combination,” said Wings & Wheels committee chairwoman Linda Price.

Friday night, the Wings & Wheels’ USO-type dinner took center-stage. It featured Smooth Sound Dance Band, the Delmarvelous Dolls, Ken Huff and Mr. Goodwood ventriloquist act, 2017 Miss Delaware Chelsea Bruce and special VIP guest Lt. Col. Dick Cole, a World War II legend who turned 102 on Sept. 7.

Saturday’s entertainment spotlight features Mike Hines & The Look, a popular band on Delmarva.

“I think he is going to bring a lot of energy. He has got a great following. He is definitely a big party band. We want to get people up dancing and having fun,” said Ms. Price.

Encamped re-enactors with tents, weaponry, vehicles and instruments will be based at two locations. The Harbor Defenses of the Delaware Living History Association will be set up near the main drop-off location.

The Capital Wing of the Airmen’s Society will be based between two hangars.

Admission to the festival is free. There is a small fee for parking, which is at Sussex Academy and Sterling Square.

Buses and trolleys will shuttle spectators to and from the festival on Saturday.

The Brower family from Virginia made the trip from the Washington, D.C. area to attend the USO dinner show specifically to meet World War II legend Lt. Col. Dick Cole. In front, Rhett Brower, 6, and Kloe Brower, 8. In back, Trent Brower, Lt. Col. Cole, Cody Brower, 2, and Krista Brower.

“We put some things in placed about three years ago that covered all of the logistics of it. We just haven’t had any really good weather to see the fruit of our labor so to speak. We did see it on a smaller scale last year and everything worked perfectly,” said Mr. Price. “We think that we have really put together a great plan.”

Organizers say the festival is certainly due for a good weather blessing. In 2015, the Saturday program was a total cancellation washout thanks to remnants of Hurricane Joaquin.

Last year, drizzly weather forced organizers to shorten Saturday’s outdoor festivities by several hours.

“We are very thankful that after two years we have beautiful weather,” said Ms. Price at Friday night’s USO dinner show.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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