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West Sacramento Sun

California Capital Airshow Takes Off This Summer

Feb 06, 2024 01:18PM ● By Tamara M. Warta

Frecce Tricolori takes a colorful flight. Photo courtesy of Frecce Tricolori, Pattuglia Acrobatica Nazionale, Aeronautica Militare, Rivolto Air Base, Italy


SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The California Capital Airshow, which typically roars through Sacramento Mather Airport each September, is returning again for 2024 - but with a new date and a distinct European flair.

This year, the 18th annual California Capital Airshow will feature Frecce Tricolori, the Italian Air Force’s military jet demonstration team. It will also be primarily an evening event, happening July 13 and 14. The changes may be surprising to airshow regulars, but excitement truly is in the air for the switch to summer and the international celebration it's bound to bring.

“Every year we want to do something fresh, we want to do something new. We want to bring our community something different," says Darcy Brewer, Executive Director of the California Capital Airshow. "We survey the insiders every single year. We heard a couple of different things from people. They wanted to see something they've never seen before, and they wanted us to bring back the night show we did in 2018."

The "insiders" Brewer refers to are the approximately 60,000 Air Show Insider® members of the California Capital Airshow community. Becoming an Insider is free and provides early access to tickets, helpful discounts, and a chance to view airshow schedules and events prior to the general public.

Famous for their interactive STEM exhibits, large airplane and fighter jet displays, food and family activities, the airshow is well-known as a distinct stand out from the approximately 450 air shows that happen each year across America.

"We are one of the largest," said Brewer. "We want to be different."

With the arrival of Frecce Tricolori, which has not performed in North America in 30 years, this year's air show is sure to delight both regular patrons and some new faces.

"We start flying at 6pm and go nonstop until 10pm. And that last half hour is going to literally blow you away," says Brewer. The event includes what the organization is referring to as a "choreographed pyrobatic musical," featuring fireworks, daredevil jet maneuvers, music, and more.

"In the air, on the ground and throughout the year – the airshow crew is all about honoring those who serve, and inspiring the next generation --- but this year we’ll be doing it all in two different languages --- so if you’ve ever been to Italy and love it, or dreamed of going to Italy --- we’re making it more simple this summer and bringing Italy to you," said Brewer.

This is the only location in the western United States where you will be able to be a part of

Frecce Tricolori's full airshow performance, get the chance to see their colorful jets up close, and maybe even meet team members on the ground.

"People in America love the US jet teams, the rest of the world loves the Italian jet force," says Brewer. "Brush up on your Italian and get ready for a once in a lifetime experience."

The California Capital Airshow has taken to the international skies one time prior - in 2017 they welcomed the French government for a one-day event over Easter weekend. Now, with that experience under their belt, the organization is going big. The Frecce Tricolori team includes 75 members, as well as multiple government dignitaries that are expected to be in attendance.

Outside of the stunning displays and huge draw from the world's best pilots, the California Capital Airshow is unique for another reason - its commitment and passion for community past and present. The group is a non-profit that supports other non-profits. Groups are invited to apply to work at the airshow and raise funds for their various causes. $79,000 went out to non-profit groups through parking lot and concessions volunteerism.

"We're all about STEM education, scholarships, and youth programs," noted Brewer. The group has many interactions with young people, equipping them to grow up to become whatever they dream.

"We try to inspire the next generation to get a job where they wake up in the morning feeling the same way the staff at the California Capital Air Show feels," Brewer says with pride when speaking about the great work environment found within the organization. Her enthusiasm and love of life is contagious, as is her passion to get people excited and involved about the air show and all it signifies.

"We like shining a spotlight on a region that we love. If you like history, aviation, or international flavor - there's something for you and we will make sure it happens before the gates open."

You can find out more about the upcoming airshow by becoming an Insider at californiacapitalairshow.com.

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