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As we approach summer, the Prairie Air Show will return July 22 and 23 to the Greater Peoria Regional Airport and will feature the Lima Lima Flight Team, “The world’s original six aircraft civilian formation aerobatic team.” This year’s show is called “River City Air Expo 2006.”

An exciting lineup is planned for the show. The U.S. Army Green Beret Jump Team will launch the festivities each day, and on Saturday, a B-2 Stealth Bomber will thrill the crowd with a fly-by. Other featured performers include Team Aerostars USA, a precision three-ship flight demonstration team; the air show also will feature its first female performer, Mary Dilda, who flies an SNJ-6 known as the Two of Hearts. The Untied team, whose members include John Mohr and Otto the helicopter, will stun the crowd with a plane-to-helicopter in-flight transfer and will perform solo acts during the show. Also performing will be Paul “Hot Rod” Stender in his jet-powered truck and jet-powered port-o-john, Kerry Tidmore will perform in the Tids Extra 200, and Clyde Zellers will fly a T-28 Trojan. There also will be exciting static displays, food, and fun for the entire family. Gates will open at 9 a.m. each day.

One of the displays at this year’s air show will be the CAT® motorcycle, built by the Orange County Choppers. Aircraft static displays have been requested, including the C-5 Galaxy, F-15 Eagle, F-16 Viper, F-18 Hornet, C-17 Globemaster, A-10 Thunderbolt, and the T-38 Talon.

Lots of other family entertainment also can be found on the ground. The Junior League of Peoria will offer its Children’s Passport program for a second year. Hot air balloon rides, helicopter rides, monster truck rides, and go-kart racing will be available throughout the show; military recruiters will be on hand to answer questions; and various flight simulators will be available.

Prairie Air Show is extending even further into the community this year, offering local restaurants the opportunity to be food venders. Papa Murphy’s Pizza will be on hand selling pizza by the slice, along with other local vendors who will be selling Pepsi and Budweiser products.

Tickets for this year’s show went on sale April 1 through the Junior League of Peoria and the Prairie Aviation Museum. These ticket sales will act as a fundraiser for each organization. Regular ticket sales began May 15 on the web and also will be available for purchase through the following locations: Busey Bank, Schnuck’s, Papa Murphy’s Pizza, The Peoria Airport Gift Shop, and Regions Bank. Tickets cost $6 to $12, and children 5 and under are free.

The beneficiaries of the Prairie Air Show include Children’s Hospital of Illinois, The Challenger Learning Center at the Prairie Aviation Museum, and the Junior League of Peoria and its Peoria PlayHouse. For more information, visit www.prairieair.org or call 697-6757 or 661-6546. IBI

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