Chennault Airshow expected to bring in $1 million to SWLA

Published: May. 18, 2023 at 9:32 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - It is a huge event that happens once every two years, and it brings out thousands of people every time – the Chennault International Airshow kicks off Friday morning.

This year an estimated crowd of 15,000 people is anticipated. People will get to see F-16 jets blaze across the sky, a demonstration by the Thunderbirds, and of course the U.S. Army Golden Knights will parachute from the skies.

7News Sunrise will be broadcast live from the airshow beginning at 5 a.m. Friday.

“There is going to be a big surprise, I’m extremely excited,” airshow treasurer Larry Rewerts said.

“I can’t go to bed when I get home because I am so excited. It is just a very fun event to be around, you’re missing one of the biggest events that goes on in Lake Charles, especially for a family,” volunteer Julie Hughes said.

The gates at the Chennault International Airport will open at 5 p.m. Friday, and a special twilight show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are sold out for Saturday’s show, but airshow Rewerts said there is still room for Friday and Sunday.

He tells us this year alone; the airshow will bring in a little over $1 million to the area. That’s not including the out-of-town crowd it attracts.

“If you look at just in terms of hotels, we have information from the Visit Lake Charles convention tourist bureau that in hotels alone there’s an $814,000 economic impact just in the hotels, for this year alone and these people have to eat and they buy gas and some of them go shopping,” Rewerts said.

Twenty local food trucks will be available, adding to the attraction.

“Local food trucks rent a space, and we don’t take any of their profits. Everything they sell, that’s their money, we don’t take it from them,” Rewerts said.

He said a portion of the funds generated from this year’s event will go to local teachers in the form of grants.

“They have to apply and say what they are going to do with the grant, a board reviews that and we fund them. It is also an opportunity for young people to be exposed to aviation and careers in aviation,” Rewerts said.

You can purchase tickets HERE.