Rockford AirFest to feature astronauts, kids activities

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

 Rockford AirFest 2011 will feature many activities for kids, including a visit by two NASA astronauts and new, reduced pricing on some popular rides.

Rockford AirFest 2011 is June 4 and 5 at Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD).

On Saturday, June 4, two NASA astronauts will be at the show - Serena M. Auñón and G. Reid Wiseman. The astronauts’ visit was made possible through assistance by U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo. The astronauts are tentatively scheduled to be at NASA’s “Journey to Tomorrow” trailer during the morning of June 4, and then at the Autograph Tent later in the afternoon. Check the schedule at those locations on the day of the show for specific times.

Auñón, from Fort Collins, Colo., and Wiseman, from Baltimore, Md., were selected in July 2009 as two of 14 members of the 20th NASA astronaut class.

“We thank Congressman Manzullo for again helping Rockford AirFest bring astronauts to share their expertise with the many kids and adults in attendance. We also welcome NASA back with its fascinating display,” said Bharat Puri, chairman of the Greater Rockford Airport Authority board of commissioners. “Rockford AirFest 2011 will have something for everyone!”

Rockford AirFest will also feature the return of Mobile Mountain, with its popular rock wall and inflatables. This year, though, prices have been reduced to only $1 for all Mobile Mountain attractions.

“It is important to us that AirFest be both family-friendly and affordable. That’s why we haven’t raised general ticket prices, and why we’ve worked with our vendors on great prices for kids’ activities,” said Darrin Golden, Greater Rockford Airport Authority commissioner. “This is the kind of event you can bring the entire family to and make a fun day out of.”

Other kids’ activities include Stepping Stones to Aviation – where kid pilots get their personal certificate for “flying” pedal planes, Radio Disney, Stealth for Kids and a variety of other games, photo opportunities and displays. Prices for kid’s activities outside of Mobile Mountain vary.

Advance tickets for Rockford AirFest 2011 are on sale for $10 per adult and $5 for youth 5-12. Kids 4 and under get in for free. Tickets are available at FlyRFD.com, at the RFD terminal and at Rockford-area Culver’s and Riverside Community Bank locations.