The 2012 Hope Flight Fest is set for June 16 at the airport.

The 2012 Hope Flight Fest is set for June 16 at the airport.

Hope Flight Fest ready to soar

This year's focus is on allowing visitors to experience flight

Whether you’re a first time flier, an avid aviation fan or just want the opportunity to see your community from a different perspective, then the annual Hope Flight Fest is for you.

The 2012 showcase is set for June 16 at the Hope Airport and the theme of the event is “experiencing flight.”

Visitors can come out and purchase inexpensive flights from Valley Helicopters,  Gravity Sports Intro Tandem Hang Gliding and Vancouver Soaring Association (gliders). Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) Flights For Kids contest winners can enjoy a free flight.

“We have 70 kids who have entered so far,” said Heather Peters, president of the Hope Flight Fest.

She said at the present time, they can accommodate about 44 kids for flights. She is now looking for more certified COPA pilots willing to volunteer their time at the festival so more kids can experience flight.

“This is the most entries we’ve ever had. Last year we had 30,” said Peters.

While there is a lot of excitement surrounding the annual event, organizers were forced to downsize the 2012 celebration.

“Normally we’ve had a lot more activities for the children and more vendors,” said Peters.

However, a lack of funding and a lack of volunteers made planning difficult.

“We decided we were just going to concentrate on being able to offer the public flight affordably.”

But there is still plenty to do.

New this year is the Radical Raptors show from the Greater Vancouver Zoo in Aldergrove.

“They will be doing their demonstration with birds of prey.”

The birds will be on site all day with a special show at noon. There will also be a booth set up for people to get their photo taken with the birds of prey.

Other family-friendly activities include a Rotary Pancake Breakfast at 7:30 a.m., the Cooper’s Barbecue from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Canadian Museum of Flight and a golf ball drop contest at 3 p.m.

The golf ball drop consists of numbered golf balls dumped from the air. The ball closest to a marker wins.

Entry into the Flight Fest is free.

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