100,000 spectators take in Misawa air show
Stars and Stripes September 19, 2010
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan – Heavy, gray skies and a light rain didn’t dampen spirits Sunday at the Misawa Air Festival.
An estimated crowd of about 100,000 visitors packed the flight line and roared their approval as the Japanese Blue Impulse aerial demonstration team ripped by overhead.
Members of various base organizations manned countless booths, selling everything from grilled burgers and hot-dogs to hats, T-shirts and stickers bearing squadron logos.
The Cub Scouts of Pack 18 were on hand, selling hand-made pies to help fund their activities throughout the year. Stephanie Herman, helping run the Pack’s table, said the kids had been “having a great time.”
On the far end of the display area, an Air Force B-52H dwarfed visitors, and crew members sat along the protective barriers surrounding the bomber to chat.
“That’s awesome,” said Capt. Ben Duvall, when Japanese artist Akitoshi Maeda showed him a sketch he had made of the gigantic plane.
This year’s festival – hosted jointly by the Japan Air Self-Defense Forces and the U.S. military – was also meant to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the U.S.-Japan military alliance. base officials said.