For the first time in its history, SUN ’n FUN is sponsoring an airshow away from its campus in Florida.
In conjunction with the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, SUN ’n FUN is helping to organize the second annual Grand Bahama Island Air Show, which will be held May 19-20 at Taino Beach in Freeport. Air Boss is John Wayne of John Wayne Air Cavalry.
Bahamas officials were pleasantly surprised at the response to last year’s airshow, according to Omar Isaacs, general manager of sales and marketing for the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.
He noted that last year’s airshow went viral over social media, “so much so that the tourist office in Exuma, as well as in Nassau, the capital, were clamoring to have us organize one down there.”
But officials want to ensure the show in Grand Bahamas is “solidified,” then create a template that can be replicated throughout the islands, he noted.
The four-hour show will have continuous entertainment, Isaacs noted. There will be performances on the stage on the ground, followed by the airshow acts, then back to the stage for more performances.
“It’s going to keep everyone on their toes,” he said.
The festivities will start with a skydive performance, while the Bahamas National Choir and Children’s Choir perform the Bahamas national anthem.
Slated to perform in the airshow are the AeroShell Aerobatic Team, Paul Shulten in his Christian Eagle and John Black in his Decathalon.
Additionally, students between the ages of 8 and 17 will be able to attend a one-day seminar and workshop at the Grand Bahama Airport, on May 19, where they can learn more about the aviation industry and career opportunities.
SUN ’n FUN began partnering with the Bahamas Tourism Ministry about four years ago, according to John “Lites” Leenhouts, SUN ’n FUN president.
“In our quest to convince people that you need to get back in the sky and fly, one of the reasons you want to fly is to go to a destination,” he said. “We wanted to show the general public that it’s easy to fly to the Bahamas. Yes, it’s outside the United States. Yes, you cross an air defense zone. Yes, it is customs oriented, but it’s very easy.”
He noted there’s a wall in the Aerospace Discovery at the Florida Air Museum dedicated to where you can fly on a tank of gas and it shows all the major islands of the Bahamas.
“What better way to show our support than to promote an airshow?” he said.