Garfield County Air Show July 13-14 will feature new performers in place of pyrotechnics

June 29, 2012

Rifle, CO – Rifle Garfield County Airport staff has contracted additional performers for its July 13-14 air show, while eliminating pyrotechnic elements for increased public safety.

“In light of the Stage II Fire Restrictions implemented June 22, airport staff members have changed our featured events to preserve the safety and well-being of our community,” said Brian Condie, airport director. “We want to align our event with Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario’s decision to implement this fire ban along with other state and federal agencies, and present yet another safe, fun, free community event.”

Vallario was included in developing plans for the air show and said, “I appreciate the thought and effort that went into making this decision, and am pleased with the support of the airport staff for upholding the Stage II Fire Restrictions.”

The Garfield County Board of County Commissioners is supportive of the modification of the 2012 air show schedule. The dates and times of the show remain the same as planned; they are from 11 am – 10 pm on Friday, July 13, and from 10 am – 6 pm on Saturday, July 14, at the Garfield County Airport near Rifle.

Aeroshell Aerobatic Team is a multi-plane demonstration group, based out of Birmingham, AL, which will perform in the Friday night show. Aeroshell Team Lead Pilot Mark Henley said, “To sum up what we do – it is similar to the Blue Angels in formation flying, but with World War II propeller-driven airplanes instead of jets. We will fly four airplanes in our formations, as we have done in performances for 28 years. While we travel to many other states, we have never done a show in Colorado, and are very excited to perform at Rifle!”

Aeroshell will be joined in Friday’s twilight performance with Matt Younkin, a favorite of area residents in the 2011 air show, and Otto the Helicopter in a lights-only presentation.

The changes made Wednesday affect four of the performers planned for the air show as follows:

  • The Commemorative Air Force Tora, Tora, Tora team will bring one aircraft, which will do a flyby and a static display – The Rocketbilly Racing Pyro Jet Truck will appear as a static display
  • Pilot Bill Leff will perform day shows only
  • Otto the Helicopter will perform during the day and the lights-only show Friday night

In addition to a range of air performances, the Denver Broncos will bring its Country Caravan outreach program to the 2012 Garfield County Air Show. The program includes appearances by and autographs from Broncos celebrities, raffle prizes, a city flag signing, activities for kids, and a cheerleader performance. This event will be from 5-7 pm Friday evening.

The 2012 Garfield County Air Show, a free community event, will be enhanced in additional ways by some changes from last year. The parking lot will now feature four exits for traffic flows. The 2012 show will have more food booths than last year, and more than double the vendor booths.

Please check the airport’s website at for additional information, and any further changes in the schedule for the air show, which starts in just two weeks.