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Some acts have been at show since its start

The LimLimFlight Team is scheduled return once agaperform during Gary's South Shore Air Show July 6-8 2012. | File~Sun-Times Media

The Lima Lima Flight Team is scheduled to return once again to perform during Gary's South Shore Air Show July 6-8, 2012. | File~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: August 6, 2012 6:17AM



Some things haven’t changed throughout the Gary South Shore Air Show’s history.

Three acts have come back each year and will return for the 13th show on July 6, 7 and 8 at Marquette Park. They are the U.S. Army Golden Knights, Lima Lima and Dave Dacy.

Performers say the setting on Lake Michigan and the receptive crowd contribute to why they return each year.

John Rippinger with Lima Lima has flown all of the Gary shows. He notes that Lima Lima is the world’s original six-aircraft precision team, and there are only one or two others in the world.

He enjoys the venue of the Gary show, over the lake.

“Most of all the air shows that we do are over an airport, so when we’re able to go over the water, that’s a really special feeling,” said Rippinger, who is celebrating his 20th year with the precision team.

He likes the Twilight Show at sunset, and also appreciates the setting.

“That’s a well-kept secret, Marquette Park. It’s a jewel,” he said.

Staff Sgt. Tom Melton will participate in the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute performance during the Air Show for the second time. Parachuting over the lake and representing the Army in outreach to the public are both important.

“It’s a huge honor for us to come back there again,” Melton said.

Dave Dacy has had one or two of his acts in the Air Show each year. This year, Dacy performs with wing walker Tony Kazian.

The surrounding dunes, the history of the area, and the steel mills and Chicago on the skyline all enhance the show.

“It’s just a really good event that you can see is great for everybody,” he said. “It’s just a beautiful venue for the event.”

A good crowd and support from the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority, which puts on the show, also draw Dacy back — all elements, he said, others in the air show industry need to emulate.

“It’s definitely a unique set-up,” he said.



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