The 29th annual Memorial Day Weekend "Salute to Veterans" air show is scheduled for Saturday & Sunday at Columbia Regional Airport, with a variety of exciting aerial acts slated to perform for the public.

Randy Kirby
Randy Kirby

The event "honors veterans of every era, every branch, every day," according to air show Media Chair Jessica Houston.

"The reason is to honor and remember our veterans, that has always been our mantra, to thank our veterans and envelope the true purpose of Memorial Day Weekend, which is to thank those who have committed the ultimate sacrifice for our country and thank the ones who are doing it right now," Houston said on Friday.

Houston added she expects a great crowd at the show, which runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Admission is free. There is limited parking at the airport due to construction of a new runway, but shuttle buses are available at the Jeff City Airport and also the MU Trow Bridge parking lot. Bus rides are $5 per person. "We are encouraging that all guests take the shuttle," Houston stressed.

Some of the headliners this year at the air show will include two military jet teams – the United States Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Tactical Demonstration Team and the Royal Canadian Air Force CF-188 Hornet Tactical Demonstration Team – as well as two military parachute jump teams.

The Skyhawks from the Canadian Armed Forces will be appearing again for the second year in a row, and the United States Army Special Operations Command Black Daggers parachute team will appear for the first time since 2006.

The spectacular WWII de Havilland Vampire will also be performing at the show this year along with the thrilling Lockheed T-33 ‘Shooting Star’ jet performance.

A newcomer to the show is the 1948 AD-1 Skyraider. It played an integral part in the Vietnam War, marveled for its long fly-time and weapons load, and continued to be used as an attack plane during the Korean War, holding its own during the age of jet planes.

In addition to the air show, the Salute to Veterans Memorial Day Corporation hosts an annual parade in downtown Columbia on Memorial Day at 10 a.m. The parade ends with a jump into the Columbia College Athletic Field by the parachute teams, which also serves as a kick-off to a speech from one of the 2017 military honored guests.

For more information on the Salute to Veterans Air show, visit

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