With a persistent marine layer that kept performers grounded Saturday morning, a patient crowd was rewarded as blue skies appeared in the afternoon above the Thunder Over the Valley air show at the Santa Maria Public Airport.
The event, organized by the Santa Maria Museum of Flight, continues Sunday with gates open from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The entrance is off Blosser Road near Foster Road on the south side of the airport.
In addition to the Army Golden Knights parachute team providing skydive demonstrations, approximately two dozen vintage and modern aircraft are on display at the show, with some of them also scheduled to fly.
The opening ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m., assuming the weather cooperates.
Saturday afternoon, aviation enthusiast Dale Lessard craned his neck to the sky as the Golden Knights’ aircraft flew overhead.
“I wish there was more planes,” Lessard said. “I kind of miss the old days ...”
Military budget cuts have meant those aircrews are attending fewer civilian air shows like Santa Maria’s.
During the show Saturday, the late acrobatic pilot Eddie Andreini, who died earlier this year in a plane crash during a May show at Travis Air Force Base outside Sacramento, was remembered by his friend and colleague, professional air show announcer Bill Vasilovich.
Andreini, 77, was a performer who had been on the air show circuit for decades and performed multiple times in Santa Maria.
From the announcer’s booth Saturday, Vasilovich noted that Andreini often provided pieces of ribbon for children at air shows.
“That was one of the things that endeared him to the audience — he loved to get kids involved,” Vasilovich said.
In addition to the air show, a car show also is occurring at the site. Food, beverages and souvenirs are available for purchase.
Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and veterans and $3 for children ages 7 to 12. Kids 6 years old and younger will be admitted for free. A family pack for two adults and two children is $25.