People who come to the inaugural Rose City Airfest will not only get to see a line-up of unique aircraft in the sky next month their attendance will also help fund resources for East Texas veterans.
CampV, also known as Community Assisting Military Personnel and Veterans, serves as a one-stop shop for local veterans and their families.
The nonprofit, located at 3212 W. Front Street in Tyler, allows veterans from 14 East Texas counties to receive assistance regarding their benefits, mental health, employment information and other resources in a centralized location.
Proceeds from the air show will go toward CampV. The festivities will be held at the Tyler Pounds Regional Airport from 6 to 9 p.m. July 2. Cedar Creek Veteran Foundation, a group dedicated to raising money for veteran organizations, is serving as the air show host.
Susan Campbell, co-founder and board chair of CampV, said she and others at the nonprofit hope the air show will help CampV assist more veterans.
“I think what we’re doing as CampV and the air show sets us apart. It’s just going to make us stand out even more. We have such a great community. I think it’s going to be a fun, amazing event that can only get bigger and better,” Campbell said. “I think once they come to this they’re going to be amazed.”
The over 20 aerial performers will include Randy Ball’s Russian MiG17, a variety of vintage warbird planes including World War II era B-17 “Texas Raiders”, B-25 “Devil Dog”, the last remaining Helldiver and Vietnam era planes and helicopters.
Campbell noted she’s excited about the F-16 Viper team. The aircraft will be crewed by the U.S. Air Force and Space Force Recruiting Air Combat Command from Shaw Air Force Base.
“It’s hard to get these military teams so we’re very honored to have them come,” she said.
Several of the planes will be available for rides and tours from July 3 to 4 at the Magnificent Warbird Expo at the Historic Aviation Memorial Museum, located at the Tyler Pounds Regional Airport.
Campbell said the air show will help bring awareness to CampV as visitors come to Tyler.
“I think there are no words — it’s so exciting. I feel this is such a community event for families,” she said. “I hope people visit and then see what Tyler is all about. I like the fact that it’s different and kind of a unique event.”
She hopes the funds raised can benefit CampV’s 10-year plan to further expand resources for local veterans.
This year, CampV opened a women’s center to help women veterans, veteran spouses and their children. Over the next 10 years, she said CampV plans to build areas on the campus, such as an equestrian center, to help the veterans.
“We’re going to need help over the next 10 years to make that a reality,” Campbell said. “It (the air show) has far-reaching possibilities for our community.”
Kristyn Harris, a four-time International Western Music Association entertainer of the year, will be performing starting at 4:30 p.m. Tyler area food trucks and vendors will also be at the air show.
People can purchase tickets at rosecityairfest.com at $25 for an adult. Those who purchase an adult ticket until June 30 will get a free kids ticket, which includes ages 12 and under. After June 30, a kids ticket purchase becomes $5.
The planes from the air show will also be performing in Thunder Over Cedar Creek Lake Air Show on July 3 over Cedar Creek Lake, a reservoir located in Henderson and Kaufman counties.