From November 7-8, more than 40 vintage aircraft will relive history in the skies above Monroe, NC. For the 20,000 people watching from below, this event is an opportunity to experience America's past in the present.
Warbirds Over Monroe, which began in 2005, brings historical aircraft back into action as pilots reenact moments in America's history, specifically from World War II and the Vietnam War. Meanwhile, displays of historical aircraft and equipment, along with more than 150 reenactors, help make history come to life on the ground too.
As part of the show, the planes perform historic combat, complete with explosion effects to imitate weapons. For Eric Reinking, Springleaf* branch manager in Matthews, NC, these effects, along with the meticulously maintained historical aircraft, make the performances very vivid. According to Reinking, "you can feel the heat from the explosions, even though they're probably a quarter-mile away."
"It all seems so real," Reinking adds. He remembers clearly the simulation of the attack on Pearl Harbor, complete with real Japanese and American fighter planes, which he watched the last time he attended. It's an opportunity for people today to "see technology from that era as it was."
Warbirds Over Monroe has grown in popularity over time, becoming "one of the area's largest aviation events honoring those who served," according to their website. According to Reinking, "a lot of veterans with their WWII hats come to see the historic planes" and remember their time serving their country.
The air show is very family-oriented and local, with its carnival atmosphere, inclusion of local vendors and foods, and entertainment for both kids and adults. Reinking has brought his kids a couple of times in the past few years. "They love it. I think they love the popcorn the most...and obviously the explosions. You can't go wrong with big, fiery explosions."
Springleaf will be one of the local vendors participating. At the Springleaf tent, Reinking, his branch team, and the team from the Monroe branch will talk to people and have giveaways.
Reinking looks forward to telling more people about Springleaf and "letting people in the area know that we're here to help them...with buying a car or consolidating debt," for instance. He hopes that the people he talks to at the event will, in the future, "see our name, see the leaf, and know that the Leaf is there for them."
For more information about Warbirds Over Monroe, please visit the event website.
* Please note that Springleaf has changed its name to OneMain.