AirFest takes to the skies over Durant, Oklahoma

The Take to the Skies AirFest returned to Durant, Oklahoma, for its second year March 29.

Airshow organizer Debby Standefer, President of D&D Marketing Concepts Inc. said, “The mission of our air shows is to encourage involvement in, and a love for, aviation particularly among our youth. In addition we try to have a unique educational factor as well.”

Choctaw DancersIn Durant it is involving and showcasing the Choctaw Nation and its culture. The AirFest was presented by the Choctaw Casino Resort, which hosted the airshow performers through the weekend. On site there were Choctaw dancers, singers, booths, cultural activities and a stickball demonstration.

The theme of the AirFest this year was to celebrate the Choctaw Code Talkers, who were the original Code Talkers and just last November received their Congressional medals of honor, according to Standefer.

The Trojan Phlyers Demo Team headlined the airshow with their two ship T-28 formation aerobatics along with skydivers, announcer Mike “Spanky” Gallaway, and many regional performers including Greg Shelton and wing walker Sam Albrecht who also reside in Oklahoma.

Trojan Phlyers Take to the Skies AirFestCavanaugh Flight Museum brought several historic aircraft, which offered rides for the public.

Another first this year was the first re-enactment of the Berlin Candy Bomber by Flight of the Phoenix Museum pilot Steve Dean in his T6. Involving a history lesson, 46 students from the Choctaw Jones Academy learned this story and then traveled two hours to Durant to see the airshow and take part in the program.

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