June 13, 2012
Tacoma Freedom Fair Wings & Wheels is back for its second year with airplane fly-bys, a meet and greet with pilots, airplane and helicopter rides, displays, a car show, a motorcycle show and more.
Wings & Wheels runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 1 at the Tacoma Narrows Airport, located at 1202 26th Ave. N.W. in Gig Harbor. The event is part of the Tacoma Freedom Fair, which is produced by the Tacoma Events Commission. Freedom Fair activities take place on June 29 (Military Appreciation Night at Cheney Stadium), July 1 (Wings & Wheels), and July 4 (The Tacoma Freedom Fair & Air Show).
"Wings & Wheels has something for everyone: historic planes, cool cars and motorcycles, great music, Tuskegee Airmen, and more," said Doug Miller, executive director of the Tacoma Events Commission. "We're excited to give the public the opportunity to see beautiful aircraft, cars, and motorcycles up close, and meet the pilots that will be showing off their flying skills during the airshow on July 4."
Vintage aircraft and warbirds
"Visitors will see a B-17 Flying Fortress, AD-1 SkyRaider, P-51 Mustang, T-33 Shooting Star, Stearman, T-6 Texan, Huey and Cobra helicopters, as well as many others," said Doug Fratoni, aviation events director. "Also, the United States Army is bringing three helicopters to the event, including the CH-47 Chinook, UH-60 Blackhawk and OH-58."
Those 18 and older can buy tickets to fly aboard the B-17 Flying Fortress Sentimental Journey online. The ride ticket includes event admission and parking.
A highlight of this event is a display of 250 amazing cars, trucks and motorcycles. Don't miss the Smoke & Thunder Jet Car race an airplane down the runway to open and close the event.
Food and music
Several food booths will be available to choose from for lunch, dinner, and dessert, so come hungry. Those over 21 can visit the Reflections at the Airport beer garden. Live music will be provided by the Air Force Band of the Golden West and Shambala (A Three Dog Night Tribute Band) presented by the La Stella Foundation.
Tickets and parking
Admission for Wings & Wheels is $12 for adults and $5 for children ages 7 to 17. Children 6 and under get in free. Tickets are available at the door, or in advance at www.FreedomFair.com. Those that wish to exhibit their motorcycle or car can also register on the website.
Parking at the airport is limited. Those who purchase event tickets online in advance will have priority access to the onsite parking on a first-come, first-served basis. Day-of-event ticket purchasers will have the convenience of parking for free at the Uptown Gig Harbor Shopping Center and MultiCare parking lots or at the Gig Harbor Athletic Club, and get a free ride to Wings & Wheels on an express shuttle bus to the main entrance at the airport. Please use the satellite parking.
Information for residents and pilots
Residents around the airport can expect some air noise during the event due to fly-bys and fly-ins.
The airport, which is owned and operated by Pierce County Public Works and Utilities, will remain open for normal operations, with the exception of several 30-minute airspace closures throughout the day.
A Federal Aviation Administration NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) alert for aircraft operators will be published in advance with the exact time of the airspace closures.
The Tacoma Events Commission is seeking volunteers for this event. If interested, please fill out the online volunteer form at www.FreedomFair.com.
Doug Miller, Tacoma Events Commission executive director
Deb Wallace, Public Works and Utilities airport and ferry administrator