Countdown to a spectacular Southend Air Festival 2011
Stand by for a thrilling weekend when the Southend Air Festival 2011 takes off on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th May.
This is one of Europe’s largest free air shows, offering a packed programme of excitement both in the air and on the ground.
Among the airborne favourites featuring in the festival – which runs from 2pm until 5pm on both days - will be the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, the RAF Falcons parachute display team, the Tornado GR4, the Hawk, Tucano and Tutor, Royal Navy Black Lynx and Merlin helicopters, the Breitling Wingwalkers and the P-51 Mustang.
There will also be a rare opportunity to see and hear the last flying Vulcan bomber when it makes its first appearance of the summer season on the Saturday, having not been seen in Southend for a decade, and a sensational performance from the world famous Red Arrows, who will draw the festival to an awe-inspiring close on Sunday.
Listen out too for the rousing 41-piece Royal Marines Band from Portsmouth, making a first appearance at the Air Festival.
Handsome hounds from the RAF Marham Ceremonial Dog Display Team will be demonstrating their detection skills in the festival arena, while talented local performers will strut their stuff on the main stage in the ‘TxT Factor’ event, part of the Southend Radio Roadshow.
Take your mobile phone if you want to cast your vote for the most talented act. Dragons Den contestant Levi Roots – famous for his Reggae Reggae sauce - is among the celebrity guest judges and will also be performing with his reggae namd.
In between a huge range of other ground attractions will take place from 10am until 6pm on both days, with displays from the RAF, the Royal Navy and the Army, static aircraft, climbing walls, armoured vehicles and tanks.
There will also be a chance to meet some of the pilots flying in the displays over the weekend, so make sure you pick up a copy of the souvenir programme which will be on sale throughout the site so you can get it autographed by your favourite teams! Other activities abound, with flight simulators, water walker balls, giant inflatables and bungee trampolines - and if all that exercise makes you hungry refreshments from all around the world will be available.
This year’s collection will benefit Help for Heroes and Southend’s local Veterans Association charities, which all contribute a great deal to the town, so please dig deep and help support these worthy causes. Local Army Cadets will be collecting money throughout the festival.
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Executive Councillor for Culture and Tourism, Councillor Derek Jarvis, said: “The 2011 Air Festival offers an even greater range of displays, attractions and entertainment than ever before. It is an exceptional opportunity for everyone to enjoy free family entertainment to suit all tastes.
“This annual extravaganza in our town began as the Southend Air Show, but has now been remodelled into an Air Festival to reflect the other festivals taking place in the town throughout the year.
“It gives an opportunity to the 750,000 residents and visitors who come along to the Air Festival to discover some of the other delights on offer in our busy calendar of events.”
BBC Essex will be based at the Air Festival giving live broadcasts over the two days. For more details of the event call 01702-215011 or visit www.visitsouthend.co.uk
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