Hangar 24 AirFest & 6th Anniversary Celebration – A Disparity of Double Days

Posted: May 21, 2014 in Beer, Country, Events, Food, Inland Empire
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Coincidentally landing at the end of American Craft Beer Week, Hangar 24 Brewery celebrated their 6th anniversary with a two-day AirFest and beer festival at Redlands Airport this past weekend. This anniversary celebration took place just across the street from the Hangar 24 tasting room, allowing guests to roam much of the airport grounds to view all the airplanes on exhibit, and check out all the food and beer available. All around the festival area, all of the attractions evenly spread out, from the food vendors to the beer tents to the airplanes on display and more. Throughout the day, live music would occur on the main stage, and various aerial acrobatics would occur overhead, demonstrating cool stunts performed in airplanes.

New this year (or not marketed much last year), AirFest lasted two days, starting on Friday afternoon, and running for most of the day Saturday. Naturally, admission for Saturday cost more than Friday. This year, I attended on the Friday of the celebration; however, I could tell that most of the fun would occur on Saturday. Some of the main attractions that occurred on Saturday for AirFest included the 30+ varieties of beer that they advertised, more varieties of aerial acrobatics, a fireworks show at night, longer hours, and more well-known music acts. On Friday, we only got ten varieties of beer, and besides the anniversary beer, anyone could obtain any of these beers at any time at the tasting room. Although I enjoyed the air shows, they started to get stale halfway through the runs. The night also did not feature any illuminating acts – just a staged airplane stunt. The beers also stopped way earlier than I recall, as beers kept going until after 9pm last year. Everclear also headlined the music on Saturday, whereas JT Hodges headlined the music on Friday. Lastly, Friday just did not have that many people there. Last year, the festival contained tons of people everywhere. Friday felt dead, as if Hangar 24 did not advertise the Friday event. At least Hangar 24 stepped it up with the food and merchandise vendors, now adding 400% more vendors than last year.

As far as the music went, Friday mainly revolved around country music. Country bands like Redneck Rodeo and HER played that beer-drinking music that everyone loves.

Aerial stunts took place throughout the day, giving everyone a reason to not slouch and look up. These pilots always amaze everyone viewing, and serve as great interruptions to groups of people. After a few hours though, most of the stunts start to look the same. Allegedly, Saturday’s stunts featured a lot more danger and variety.

Once all that ended, we got to see some parachuters, and one of them deployed a flag during the national anthem playing on the ground floor.

Some more aerial acrobatics occurred while waiting for the next music act to set up.

Country singer JT Hodges headlined the night with two sets. His sets contained a mix of his own original songs and cover songs. While he performed, little activity occurred elsewhere around the festival, as he captured the attention of nearly everyone present.

As I suggested to everyone I encountered, the sunset out here looks beautiful, and everyone should always seek to capture a great photo of this moment.

Between JT Hodges’ two sets, one final air show took place. Unfortunately, the fireworks show only occurred on Saturday.

I remember having the time of my life at last year’s AirFest. This time, my choice of attending on Friday may have soured my perception of this event, though I cannot say the same for anyone else that attended on Friday only. Perhaps the lack of true content compared to a previous year may have lowered my perception. Perhaps last year’s event went so well that it spoiled me from future events. Since the weekend, I have heard mixed reviews of this and last year’s AirFest. As best as I can say, just like the president, you cannot please everyone. Just do the best you can to inflict the greatest good for the greatest amount of people. Hangar 24 always does their best, but I think at least for the Friday event, it should wither away and leave everything to Saturday.

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