The Countdown is on for the Festival of Flight
The Newcastle Festival of Flight, sponsored by Rockwell Collins Kilkeel, takes place this Saturday, 5 August and is set to be one of the biggest events of the year.
The 2017 event is expected to attract more than 100,000 spectators to enjoy an afternoon flight display, headlined by the world famous Red Arrows aerobatic team and supported by a packed programme of on-the-ground family fun.
The aerial extravaganza will see several new displays join the schedule, with the Wildcat Aerobatics team and Piston Provost both taking to the skies as part of the packed line up.
The full schedule will see the Famous Red Arrows return, alongside the Pitts Special, Global Stars, a Chinook, a Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, which will include a Spitfire, a Lancaster and a Hurricane, Wildcats, Global Stars, Team Raven, a Strikemaster and Muscle Pitts, as well as a Piston Provost, flown by Lisburn man, Simon Wilson.
Kicking off from 2.30pm, a tribute will also be paid to Rescue 116, with a slow flyby of the new aircraft to commemorate the four crew members who tragically passed away earlier this year.
And for those who prefer to keep to the ground, there will be something for everyone at the Aviation and Food village.
Open from 10am, there will be live music, a range of local food and drink suppliers and a dedicated beer tepee.
Visitors can sit stop by the RAF cadet stand to sit in a Jet Provost or Hunter cockpit, take a selfie with the WWll re-enactors and their jeep or get up close to a range of civil and military aircraft thanks to Ulster Model Aircraft Club.
Following last year’s successful rally, The Belfast Chapter of the Harley-Davidson Owners’ Group return to Newcastle this year. A rally with over 200 riders are expected to cruise into town with their leathers and metal making grown men go weak at the knees in unbridled admiration! See them arrive in Newcastle with a grand parade through the town, revving in at 11am.
U105’s Maurice Jay and Denise Watson will be on hand from 12pm to 5pm with great music, competitions and all-round family fun.
The day won’t end when the skies clear either, thanks to 80’s tribute band, The Pleasure Dome. Get your leg-warmers on and get ready to dance the night away to classic 80’s tracks after the airshow.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Roisin Mulgrew said, “Our annual Festival of Flight is set to be a great family day out for everyone. I look forward to joining the crowds on Saturday to experience not only the air displays but to enjoy the very best of local produce at the food village and getting an in depth look at the aircraft on display in the aviation village.”
Visitors are encouraged to use the free Park & Ride facility this weekend, which will operate from the designated Northfield parking site located on the A50 Castlewellan Road. The site will be signposted with temporary yellow event signs and a free park & ride shuttle bus service will operate between the Park & Ride site and the town between 9am - 9pm.
Drivers are requested to adhere to all parking restrictions in place, including temporary “No waiting” cones, to ensure the safe flow of traffic throughout the day and are advised to allow additional time to travel to/from Newcastle due to the increased volume of traffic on the roads.
On Saturday 5 August, public parking will be available at Higher Donard Park, Bryansford Road, Causeway Road; Downs Road car park; Harbour car park; Main Street, Railway Street and Shimna Road, with disabled parking concentrated at Newcastle Visitor Information Centre, Donard Park and Glen River car park. Motor home parking will also be at Higher Donard car park.
As always, public safety is absolutely paramount and visitors are urged to pay close attention to PSNI and Marshalls’ directions and to obey all beach signs. Spectators should not approach the water’s edge at low tide as that will force aircraft out to sea and spoil everyone’s enjoyment.
Spectators are also warned that the use of drones is strictly prohibited. If a drone is detected in the area, all display flying will stop immediately. Also the beach area from Murlough Beach to Newcaslte will close before the event so if you are planning a stroll into Newcastle form Murlough Beach please set-off early.
Visit www.visitmournemountains.co.uk or www.facebook.com/VisitMourneMountains to find out more about the programme for the 2017 Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Festival of Flight sponsored by Rockwell Collins.