The aviation festival in Kaunas is celebrating its second century: a new show program and long-standing traditions
Paskelbta: 2022-07-20 (Wednesday)
Darius and S. Girėnas airfield, July 23 – Kaunas aviation festival in Aleksotas – this is what thousands of Kaunas residents and guests must know and remember. Next Saturday, dozens of aircraft pilots, aces of acrobatic flights and a group of musicians will once again give an impressive show in the sky and on the ground. According to the aviators, this free event is an opportunity to visit the renewed spaces and enjoy the tradition that has entered second century.
Performance of international rank air professionals
“Baltic Bees Jet Team”, which came together in 2008, will create one of the most impressive performances of the festival. Guests from Latvia will carve the skies with complex vertical maneuvers both in the lineup of two aircrafts and in individual flights.
Antanas Marčiukaitis, a member of the “Iron Wolf Aerobatics” team, will participate in Kaunas Aviation Festival for the first time. The well-known aerial virtuoso will take to the sky in an aerobatic plane, with which a couple of weeks ago, pilot Igor Lobanov won the champion title of Spanish aerobatic flying in the standard category and became the first Lithuanian to achieve this title.
“Kaunas is unique with its airfield in the city itself. This special space and the festivities held here attract true aviation aces every year. I have no doubt that the pilots who flew in to Kaunas will show what they do best. All that remains is to wish good weather and unforgettable experiences to all the participants of the festival,” – said Kaunas Mayor Visvaldas Matijošaitis.
Eltonas Meleckis – international rank sports professional and coach of the Lithuanian national aerobatic flying team will join the ranks of the participants of the celebration. His show program includes freestyle and classic aerobatic figures with special smoke compositions.
The start of the event will be announced with the sound of roaring engines and a parade by a huge motorcade of “Bike show” motorcyclists. Like every year, starting from the Town Hall Square, bikers will circle the city and arrive at the airfield of S. Darius and S. Girėnas. Here they will be met by a squadron of motorized paragliders.
The show in the sky will be complemented by music
The aviation festival is not only in the sky, but also on the ground. A concert program will await the audience on the stage. Justinas Jarutis, who is “flying” at the heights of popularity, will invite you to take a flight with music. Augustė Vedrickaitė, the finalist of this year’s Eurovision national selections, will present interpretations of well-known rock songs and inspire a lively revelry with the “Rock Me Good” project.
The sentiments of the audience will be aroused by the legend of “Hiperbolė” Igor Berin and the band “Huge soul”. The performers will invite you to immerse yourself in nostalgic memories and sing the most beautiful Lithuanian pop ballads together.
Residents of Kaunas are invited to visit Aleksotas airfield on July 23 with their families – from the youngest to the oldest. A traditional fair will await the guests of the event, as well as virtual reality entertainment, a trampoline park and activities of the Children’s Technical Creativity Academy “Kids Go Tech”.
Lithuanian aerobatic flight group ANBO will teach a history lesson worthy of a movie by presenting the “Bellanca CH-300” airplane. Spectators will be able to see it up close. This model, better known as “Lituanica”, gained worldwide attention after the Lithuanian heroes Steponas Darius and Stasys Girėnais flew, without stopping, across the Atlantic Ocean and tragically died in the Soldin forest, which was in Germany at that time.
At the celebration, world aerobatic champion Žilvinas Lidžius will introduce the demonstration program while piloting his own “Extra 300” plane.
Due to unpredictable weather conditions, the time of the free shows will be adjusted a few days before the start of the festival online: bit.ly/AviacijosSvente.
Traditions were accompanied by innovations
The first aviation festival in Kaunas was held in 1921. Eugenijus Riaubickas, head of the Aviation History and Publishing Department of the Lithuanian Aviation Museum, notes that the purpose of the event at that time was very different compared to now.
“Back then, they wanted to demonstrate military equipment to the public, and now the entire event is intended for people – those who come to admire the spectacular action overhead and those who demonstrate their skill in the sky, giving special festive emotions every time,” – said E. Riaubickas.
According to the museologist, not only the concept of the festival has changed over the century, but also the airfield itself. Its area has increased at least one and a half times. A few years ago, Kaunas completely renewed the surface of the runway and night lighting was installed on both sides, which can be controlled by the pilots themselves.
“Students visit the Aviation Museum’s educational activities more and more often, it has become popular among Kaunas residents to give sightseeing and even aerobatic flights as gifts to their relatives. Children’s flying school and summer camps are located here,” – said E. Riaubickas.
The airfield in Aleksotas, which is called the real cradle of interwar aviation, has long been a unique part of Kaunas due to it being located close to the city center.
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