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Military

MacDill AirFest Will Fly Again in 2014

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Associated Press
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After being grounded because of federal budget cuts, MacDill Air Force Base's AirFest is back.

Base officials announced today AirFest will be held March 22 and 23 and will be headlined by the United States Air Force Thunderbirds Flight Demonstration Team.  There will also aerial performances by both military and civilian aviators, along with displays of cargo, fighter and special purpose aircraft.

"We are excited to once again welcome the Tampa community onto MacDill to witness one of the premier aerial demonstration acts in the world, the USAF Thunderbirds," said Col. Scott DeThomas, 6th Air Mobility Wing commander, said in a press release.

And, he says, the AirFest has a new name.

"We have decided to rename this year's show MacDill AFB presents Tampa Bay AirFest as the new title is more reflective of the total community involvement required to support and execute such an amazing event."

MacDill officials say they plan to create a new type of airshow.

"This year's show will be a little different from years past to include more civilian aerial demonstrations and static aircraft," said Maj. Matt Parker, AirFest director. "We believe we are creating a template for future military air shows that is fiscally responsible and sustainable.

"We know we have a lot to do in a short amount of time, but this is an incredible opportunity that we can provide to the Tampa Bay area, and we are up to the challenge," said DeThomas.

The Airfest usually draws more than 80,000 people to the base.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=sLSnbDHUqM4

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