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Kill Devil Hills , NC
December 8, 2003

Event organizers have announced programming for Saturday, December 13th during First Flight Centennial Celebration at Wright Brothers National Memorial, taking place December 12-17. Themed "Remember the Past, Imagine the Future", programming for Saturday will celebrate aviation's impact over the last century with featured appearances by historic aviators; exhibits chronicling this history of flight; aircraft demonstrations and musical entertainment. Gates and exhibits open each day at 8 a.m., with exhibits closing at 4 p.m. and gates closing at 5 p.m.

Main Stage:

Saturday's Main Stage highlights include a welcome from Lawrence A. Belli, National Park Service's Superintendent, Outer Banks Group; Lisbeth (Libba) C. Evans, Secretary, North Carolina Department of Cultural Affairs; and Dare County Representative Richard Johnson. An Invocation will be given by The Reverend Dr. William Walsh, and Elle Gerdes will sing the National Anthem. Wilbur and Orville Wright's great grandniece, Janette Yoerg, will represent the Wright family at the opening ceremonies. Historic re-enactors representing historic sites throughout North Carolina will participate in the day's program. Following the opening ceremony, music will be provided by the popular band The Landsharks at 10:30 a.m. The Beach Boys will give a concert on the Main Stage at 1 p.m.

Air shows and Flyovers:

The first air show performances on Saturday begin at noon, and include a skydiver team demonstration. The hour-long program will include fifteen-minute performances by the AeroShell Aerobatic Team, Ian Groom, Michael Mancuso and Matt Hall. The 2:30 p.m. air show performers will feature Patty Wagstaff and Bobby Younkin. Additionally, several commemorative aircraft will participate in a flyover during this timeframe.

First Flight Centennial Pavilion: In the First Flight Centennial Pavilion Auditorium, the day will be kicked off at 8:30 a.m. with a program entitled "Good Morning First Flight", featuring an aviation film or video. At 9 a.m., NASA Astronaut Dan Barry will give a talk on Space Exploration. On Saturday at 10:30 a.m. a panel discussion by NASA with a focus on the agency's history is scheduled to take place. At 3 p.m., the musical group The Embers will perform on the Pavilion Stage. In addition, the First Flight Centennial Pavilion will feature its current exhibits from NASA, the United States Air Force, The Outer Banks History Center, General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and North Carolina's First Flight Centennial Commission.

Exhibits Throughout the Park:

On-site exhibits are filled with interactive activities to educate visitors and engage them in the wonders of flight. Confirmed on-site exhibitors for the six-day celebration include the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); the United States Air Force; the United States Coast Guard; the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA); the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA); Dare County Schools; the United States Postal Service, and the First Flight Society. Static aircraft will also be on display throughout the park.

Visitor Center:

The park's Visitor Center will house an exhibit of Wright brothers' artifacts from the Museo Aeronautico Gianni Caproni in Italy. Park rangers will give interpretive talks on the hour, and featured guest speakers will include representatives from the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots), The Ninety-Nines, and the Tuskegee Airmen.

All of the most recent information on the First Flight Centennial Celebration can be accessed at the Centennial website on http://www.outerbanks.org. Friday, December 12 is a non-ticketed day. December 16 and 17 are sold out. General Admission tickets for December 13-15 are still available for purchase for $10 per day until the daily 35,000-ticket limit has been reached. Ticket sales must be made in person from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. at the Fort Raleigh Visitor Center in Manteo, NC. Forms of payment include personal checks, cash, MasterCard or Visa credit cards. Phone orders will not be accepted. For information on accommodations, check the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau website at http://www.outerbanks.org or call their toll-free number at (877) 298-4373. For information on the event's transportation plan, see http://www.ncdot.org/news/centennialceleb11_03.html


Erin Porter Centennial Planning Office
Tel: 252 441 6291, ext. 224

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