Great American Airshow is coming to Discovery Park Sept. 16

Thursday, August 10, 2017
Pictured above, Stephen Covington is seen in his Pitts S2S called Raptor. Stephen will be flying in this year’s Great American Airshow, set to begin at 5 p.m. over the Great Lawn of Discovery Park of America. Admission is free to the park beginning at 3 p.m., and there will be bounce houses for the kids, food trucks and live music at the park.

Just imagine sitting on the Great Lawn of Discovery Park of America, listening to the national anthem and watching people dive out of planes in the sky overhead. You’ll get the chance during the Third Annual Great American Airshow planned to begin at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16, and one of the premier kickoff events to the Obion County Cornfest weeklong festival.

The park plans to waive admission and allow guests to come in free beginning at 3 p.m. This year’s Airshow promises to be more exciting than ever. According to professional Airshow organizer Jerry Homsley you don’t want to miss the beginning of the show, as skydivers, planes flying in formation, music and a sky full of smoke will set the stage for a fantastic evening of swirling and twirling.

“We are letting people come in free a little earlier this year because the experience is so much better when you watch it from the Great Lawn,” said Event Director Lauren Jones. “We want to give everyone time to get in so that they can enjoy our bounce houses, food trucks and the music that goes along with the show,” she added.

The Elam McKnight Band (pictured above) will be playing on the Great Lawn at the park prior to the Airshow. The Elam McKnight Band plays a nice mix of ‘country soul’ music and will set the stage for an amazing airshow. Music is slated to begin around 3 p.m., with guests getting into the park free at that time. Bounce houses and food trucks will also be available. Guests are invited to bring bag chairs and blankets to enjoy the evening’s festivities.

In the past, attendance has been so large that there wasn’t enough food, according to CEO Jim Rippy. “That won’t be the case this year,” he added. In addition to Eats & Treats and food tents with specialty food, the park plans to have food trucks with plenty of food options. “Feel free to come hungry, as we will have plenty of food this year,” Rippy promised.

The fun begins at 3 p.m. with music by The Elam McKnight band, bounce houses, beverage tents and yard games setting the stage for the evening ahead. There will be a stage with an Air Boss talking to the crowd on the ground about what’s going on in the air. “This is another reason to actually experience the Airshow from the park,” Jones added.

Local pilot and Airshow sponsor Mike Rinker has commissioned Jerry Homsley to coordinate this year’s show. “I’ll still be flying in it,” said Rinker, who planned the show for the last two years. “But Jerry does this all the time, and he’ll do a fantastic job of planning a great Airshow for our community,” he added.

While not revealing all the secrets, Homsley has promised some new acts and fresh starts to this year’s show. “I’m excited about bringing a quality Airshow to Discovery Park,” he stated.

So, grab your quilts, your kids, your friends and plan to head to Discovery Park of America on Sept. 16 for the third annual Great American Airshow. The park is open beginning at 10 a.m, but admission is free beginning at 3 p.m. Members and other guest who pay admission will have the first opportunity to grab a spot on the Great Lawn to watch the show, organizers said.

In addition to Mike Rinker and Vaughn Electric Company, the air show is sponsored by Everett Stewart Regional Airport, Leaders Credit Union, MIA Seating, One Main Financial and First Citizens National Bank.

The air show is one of the first events of Obion County Cornfest, which is going on all week and includes such activities as beauty contests, fashion shows, Pride of Obion County luncheon and pig races. Complete Cornfest details can be found on their website at

One day prior to the Great American Airshow, Cornfest will host its annual concert and fashion show at the park. This year, the concert will be Friday, Sept. 15, with gates opening at 5:30. Regional favorites Juliet and the Romeos will take the stage at 6:30 and at 8 p.m. Nashville favorites, the Nashvegas AllStars will entertain the crowd. The Cornfest concert is free to the public. The Cornfest Fashion Show is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 18 with tickets available at the Obion County Library.

Not only does Discovery Park of America offer annual events such as the Great American Airshow, it also hosts monthly wine and paint classes, clay classes and animal education classes. Park officials say that Discovery Park has plans for ‘Beer, Blues and Brats’, a new traveling exhibition called ‘BUGS!’, featuring gigantic animatronic insects, a ‘Christmas Smoke on the Mountain’ dinner theater, a ‘Polar Express’ event, Photos with Santa, a Christmas drive-through-village of lights, and a Christmas Eve Party in Dinosaur Hall; all between now and the end of the year. Also, next year’s large traveling exhibition: ‘Nature’s Ninjas’ will open on Jan. 12 of next year. A complete calendar of events is available on the park’s recently redesigned website.

Discovery Park is located at 830 Everett Blvd. in Union City. To find out more about the park, you can visit the website at . The park is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and is a unique blend of history, science, architecture, art, and fun.

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