THE sky's the limit in a Kent town this summer when it hosts the county's leading air festival featuring the world famous Red Arrows and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
Heralded as one of the top outdoor attractions in the South East, Margate's Big Event is free and being organised by Thanet district council on the clifftops and in the skies above Palm Bay, Cliftonville, between 10am and 10pm on Saturday, June 16, and 10.30am and 6pm on Sunday, June 17.
The Kent Messenger Group has been named official media partner.
On each day there will be an hour-and-a-half of flying displays, with the RAF Falcons and Tigers parachute teams dropping into the main arena, plus appearances from a Hawk aircraft, the historic Stearman aircraft and the Tucano and Tutor planes, both of which are used for training by the RAF.
The Aerostars and a Sukhoi flown by Will Curtis, one of the leading solo aerobatics pilots on the circuit, complete the aerial line up.
On the ground, arena acts for all the family include Jason Smyth, the only quad bike stunt rider in the UK, the Solent Eagles Motorcycle Display Team, international strong man John Evans, Chinese Acrobats, Cyril the Squirrel and his racing terriers, and a vulture and eagle show by Eagle Heights.
Both days will feature live music, with appearances by Hullabaloo, Rubber Biscuit, Ronnie Scott’s Rejects, Pulse and Umbrella Men. Saturday’s entertainment will finish with an Abba tribute concert, followed by a spectacular fireworks finale.
Other acts include trapeze artists, clowns, puppeteers, stilt walkers, acrobats, magicians and even a pair of resident robots, many of which are appearing in Thanet for the first time.
Council corporate director John Bunnett said: "This will be Kent’s leading air and land festival and an unmissable day out. It is the only place in the county that people will be able to enjoy such a huge variety of entertainment in one place."
Thanet council leader Cllr Sandy Ezekiel said: "This will be a vital boost to our tourist industry."
Entry will be free, with parking costing £3 for each day. The Thanet Loop bus service runs to the Old Charles Pub on Northdown Road, just 10 minutes walk from the site and a free open-top shuttle bus will be running every 30 minutes between Margate railway station and the site.