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Stuart Air Show to take flight Saturday

Sunday’s rainy forecast has organizers hoping for busy Saturday
Posted at 9:22 PM, Nov 06, 2020

STUART, Fla. — The Stuart Air Show will return tomorrow after a year's absence. Organizers hope the weather holds out and that the crowds return.

"All of the community members are excited about November. It's on the calendar like Halloween or Thanksgiving," said Dewey Vinaya, who coordinates the military acts and stunt performances for the annual show.

He used to be a performer, as a skydiver with the Army's Black Dagger skydiving team.

"Jumped out of perfectly good planes," he said.

Organizers want the 30th annual Stuart Air Show to make a comeback from last year's canceled show, when rain grounded planes and flooded parking lots, while a pilot in a vintage military plane crashed and died during a practice flight.

It's 2020, though, so it will be a tough year for a rebound.

"This year's show is meaningful just because as much as COVID has been a hard thing for everybody, we are able to have an air show," Vinaya said.

"I'm a patriot," proclaimed Brad Lavour, who drove down from Port St. Lucie to see the practice flights of the F-16. "Anybody that doesn't appreciate this does not understand what America's all about, what it's been, what it's been through," Lavour said.

The Stuart Air Show means the world to Dewey Vinaya.

When he left the military, the former skydiver made Stuart his home.

"I met my wife here in 2009, we married here, I came back," he said. "The biggest joke is I got the most out of the Stuart Air Show that one performer can get."

Two years ago, Vinaya's old buddies from the Black Daggers treated him to an aerial gender reveal.

The pink smoke in the sky told him, and his neighbors in Stuart, Dewey and his wife were going to have a baby girl. It was a moment he seemed to share with his strangers and his Martin County neighbors.

"Stuart has never lost its hometown feel when it comes to performers and military hospitality," Vinaya said.