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Air Show in Gary off to a flying start

Aerostars FormatiAerobatic Team pilot Dave Monroe Crystal Lake Ill. performs landing break over Gary-Chicago Airport Romanian-built Yak-52TW aircraft during demonstratiflight

Aerostars Formation Aerobatic Team pilot Dave Monroe of Crystal Lake, Ill., performs a landing break over the Gary-Chicago Airport in a Romanian-built Yak-52TW aircraft during a demonstration flight for the Gary South Shore Air Show, Friday, July 6, 2012. The team is one of several aerobatic groups performing in this weekend’s air show held at Marquette Park Beach. | Guy Rhodes~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: July 7, 2012 4:41PM



Gary South Shore Air Show is special to Freida Graves for two reasons.

First, she said, the fact that it takes place on the beach is unique and pretty fantastic.

But the fact that it’s Gary’s air show is what distinguishes it from all the rest.

“It’s a good show, right on the shore,” Graves said. “But there are very few things like this in the city, in Gary. And we get to hang out on the beach.”

The Gary South Shore Air Show is a free annual event at Marquette Park and Beach. Friday night’s Twilight Show was the kickoff of the three-day event, capped with a fireworks show at dark.

Several pilots performed, from the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, the U.S. Army Golden Knights and Aerostars.

The beach was packed with onlookers, their necks craned to get the best view of the aircraft. People were in the sand and splashing in the water, with a line of boats offshore also observing.

Taliyah Taylor, sipping lemonade out of a massive mug, joked that she even likes the prices at the air show — $16 for an extra large souvenir mug filled with sweet refreshment is a great deal, she said, smiling.

Still, the entire show is fantastic, Taylor said.

“I love the airplanes. They are so beautiful. This,” she said, standing in the parking lot near the beach, pointing up to a Golden Knight doing a figure 8, leaving a cloud of smoke in its trail, “is so beautiful. The fireworks are beautiful, too.”

Sherry Pritz, a Rockford, Ill., native visiting Indiana friends, she said she’d been to air shows before, but a major perk of Gary’s South Shore Air Show is the fact it takes place on the beach.

“It’s a lot cooler (on the beach),” Pritz said. “Especially when you get in the lake! It’s far more comfortable and a different environment here.”



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