Wings Over Alpena 2014

ALPENA – Organizers are rounding up acts and sponsors for the 2014 Wings Over Alpena air show, set to take place over Thunder Bay.

The show, set for Aug. 23, 2014, will pay tribute to Vietnam War veterans, complete with aircraft from that era and ground displays about the war, Wings Over Alpena Chairman Andy White said. It’s the air show’s third tribute to war veterans. Details are still in the works, but the coming show will have a considerably different venue.

“Because there’s some planned construction, the show’s going to be held over Thunder Bay, over Lake Huron,” he said.

White and other organizers have met with city officials and the United States Coast Guard to discuss what will be needed to hold the air show over the bay, he said. Part of the bay will be blocked to boaters during performances, and vendors will set up at Mich-e-ke-wis Park, Starlite Beach and Bay View Park.

“We’re still really in the beginning planning stages of it,” he said. “There’s still a lot of details to work out, but it’s coming together.”

In keeping with the show’s theme, White is working to book as many acts using Vietnam War-era airplanes as possible, he said. The lineup is still in the works, but so far the T-28 Trojan Horsemen are on board, as well as the pilot of a Soviet MiG-15 fighter jet. Kevin Copeland, who performed in Wings Over Alpena in 2012, will return.

The show will feature different aircraft from other eras as well, White said.

Moving the show from the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center to Thunder Bay made for some logistical problems, White said.

“The city has been phenomenal in supporting us so far,” he said. “They’ve really been helping out in answering different questions, what we can do and can’t do.”

Wings Over Alpena will be free to watch, as it has in the past, White said. The show will be paid for by sponsorships and fundraisers, with one coming up on Oct. 19. Dubbed the Redneck Rush, participants will run a five-kilometer obstacle course at the Alpena County Fairgrounds, and audience members can buy air balloons to soak the runners. Those interested can register at, under “Redneck Rush 5K Obstacle Mud Run.”

Those looking to contribute can also email White at, or visit the show’s website at Pam Richardson is now the air show’s sponsorship director, White said, and can be contacted at or 464-6017.

Jordan Travis can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5688. Follow Jordan on Twitter @jt_alpenanews. Read his blog, A Snowball’s Chance, at