Snowbirds to fly into Barrie this summer

By Sonya Anderson

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds will be in Barrie to kick off Canada Day weekend celebrations with two shows on June 28 and 29. Snowbird pilots Capt. Robbie Hindle and Capt. Arpit Mahajan flew into Lake Simcoe Regional Airport to make the announcement.

The event will be put on in partnership with CFB Borden and the Downtown Barrie Business Association and will take place over Kempenfelt Bay leading into Downtown Barrie’s Promenade Days (June 29 to July 1) and the city’s annual Canada Day festivities and fireworks (July 1).

“We’re extremely thankful to our partners for once again making this event possible,” said Mayor Jeff Lehman. “We look forward to welcoming the Snowbirds back to Barrie for another exciting show to kick-off an incredible weekend of celebrating our great country.”

For Hindle, who grew up in Midland, it’s a chance to perform in front of the hometown crowd.

“It’s very special for me,” he said. “We try to go to as many places in Canada as we can, so it’s nice to be able to stop somewhere close to home for me, but also with a fairly significant population in southern Ontario.”

Flying over water is generally less turbulent than flying over land in the summer, so the Snowbirds like Kempenfelt Bay as a venue.  Barrie is the only stop in Central Ontario for the Snowbirds this year as they travel from coast to coast with their appearances.

“Barrie was one of the communities that reached out to us, and it fit in perfectly with our schedule to perform in Ottawa on Canada Day,” said Hindle. “Every year the show changes – new manoeuvres, new music, new faces, new technicians.  We’re bringing the team back to Barrie for what should be an awesome show.”

Capt. Mahajan shows a future aviator the cockpit of his Tutor aircraft

At a time when the aviation industry is facing a shortage of pilots, Hindle said he hopes he and the Snowbirds inspire kids to pursue aviation as a career.

“I have one of the best jobs in the world and I’m very lucky to get to fly it,” he said. “It’s a really cool way to see the world, especially when you’re upside down.”

Cover photo: Capt. Mahajan and Capt. Hindle fly into Lake Simcoe Regional Airport to make the announcement. Sonya Anderson photo

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