Over the years, the Burnet Bluebonnet Airshow mesmerized crowds each spring. But, in March 2016, the Highland Lakes Squadron of the Commemorative Air Force moved the event to September due to upgrades at the Burnet Municipal Airport, and that’s when it remained.
“We thought the last few years, ‘What if we could get back in the spring?” said Kirk Noaker, a squadron member and airshow event chair.
The Bluebonnet Airshow returns to the spring calendar on Saturday, March 20, 2021. Earlier this year, the squadron announced it was canceling the September 2020 show due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Noaker explained the decision was based on how restrictions to slow the spread of the disease is currently hurting many local businesses that sponsor the airshow.
The postponement has a silver lining.
Delaying the event until March 2021 gives the squadron more time to prepare the Texas Zephyr for its Bluebonnet Airshow debut. In November 2019, Karl Ritter donated the Zephyr, a 1945 Douglas DC-3 Skytrain, to the Highland Lakes squadron, which had lost its beloved Bluebonnet Belle, a Douglas C47 Skytrain, in a July 2018 crash.
A March date also makes the Burnet event one of the earliest on the 2021 airshow circuit, Noaker said. This could lure many acts to town as they try to shake off the winter doldrums.
Noaker added that the Highland Lakes squadron has applied for the U.S. Air Force’s A-10C Thunderbolt II Demonstration team to fly during the Burnet show. It’s not a sure thing — the team is inundated with applications — but Noaker hopes the early date will be an advantage.
And another plus for the March show: pleasant temperatures.
“By the time March rolls around, people will be ready to get out after winter, and the temperatures should be in the 70s, maybe 80s,” Noaker pointed out. “In September, people are sick of the heat, and, the last show, it was 101 degrees.”