Goldsboro, NC - As jets soared overhead, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base opened its doors to the public for the first time in four years. 220,000 excited and eager spectators poured through the gates for the 2015 Wings Over Wayne Open House and Air Show.
Headlining the two day event, on May 16th and 17th, was the tightly choreographed ground and air demonstration of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. The event also featured numerous aerial and ground performances from multiple military and civilian performers, as well as static displays of dozens of the Air Force's most prominent aircraft for spectators to view up-close.
Seymour Johnson AFB’s very own F-15E Strike Eagles focused on showcasing the abilities of both aircraft and aircrews while others provided a different style of entertainment. The Commemorative Air Force's "Tora! Tora! Tora!" demonstration team recreated the Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor with six World War II reproduction Japanese airplanes.
Free concerts closed out both days of the airshow. North Carolina native and national recording artist, Kellie Pickler, performed Saturday night, and Sunday was closed out by Goldsboro's own American Idol finalist, Majesty Rose.
Lt Col James A. Ladd, Director of the Wings Over Wayne Open House and Airshow commented, “This air show didn't just happen; through months of diligent planning and with the expertise of several agencies including the 4th Fighter Wing, 916th ARW, local law enforcement, emergency medical services, state, county and local governments, we were able to showcase SJAFB to over 220,000 people, the largest number of spectators in the history of Wings Over Wayne! Thanks to spectacular support from the USO of NC and Goldsboro Travel & Tourism, many of our guests enjoyed music concerts by Kellie Pickler and Majesty Rose and the Airmen of SJAFB also had the unique opportunity to meet the Carolina Panthers and Andy Segal (world’s #1 ranked pool player). The response to the air show has been overwhelmingly positive with a great majority of people excited about the next WOW Open House scheduled for 2017. Thank You North Carolina for making this the most successful Air Show in the history of SJAFB!”
Ashlin Glatthar, Director of Sales for two area hotels announced “We, at the Hampton Inn and Best Western Plus, were privileged to host many of the world renowned performers and excited spectators who filled our hotels to the brim both Friday and Saturday nights of the Wings Over Wayne Air Show. It has been a while since Goldsboro hosted an air show, and the historic turnout of the event exceeded our expectations and is leaving us excited for the next air show!”
According to Betsy Rosemann, Director of Travel & Tourism for the City of Goldsboro, conservative economic impact of the 2015 Wings Over Wayne Air Show generated over $4 million to the City of Goldsboro and Wayne County.
Seymour Johnson Air Force Base contributed $547 million to Wayne County’s economy in 2013 and generated nearly 13,000 jobs. In addition, events such as graduations, promotions, deployments, and retirements bring visitation from family and friends. This provides revenue for area hotels, restaurants, retail stores, and other local businesses.