Thunder in the Valley must go on, despite the military pulling out

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The show must go on, despite the military pulling out of Thunder in the Valley Air Show this weekend in Columbus.

High-powered airplanes turning jaw dropping flips in the air will still be a part of the 16th annual event on Saturday and Sunday.

Military trainees from the Army, Navy and Air Force will be a no-show this year due to automatic spending cuts called Sequestration.

"Our country is going through a budget crisis right now, so the military will stay on base, but we have a lot of varied acts coming in," said Robert Kemp, Marketing and Community Relations Manager.

Kemp says pilots will be in the air for more than three hours during the event, doing acrobatic tricks in the air.

"With an air show in a town like Columbus, we've have the airplanes in the air and as soon as one finishes the next one is ready to go," Kemp said.

Kemp also says they're not expecting a big dip in this year's crowd due to the military change.

"We are going to have great weather and it's a lot of acts. It may hurt a little bit but I really don't think so. I think people are going to come out for a fun filled family event."

The theme this year is "Sweet 16" signifying the number of years the show has been in Columbus. So look to the skies at twilight on Friday night for the first ever dusk performance. Wherever you are in Columbus, Kemp says you should see the spectacular "Sweet 16."

General admission tickets are $10 in advance and military admission is $8. If you buy tickets the day of the show it will cost you $15. The gates open at 10 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

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