Considered one of the best air shows in California, Wings Over Camarillo is always a major highlight of the summer entertainment calendar. The aviation themed event will be taking over the Camarillo Airport in August of 2023, and offers so much more than the signature epic air shows they are most famous for. From airborne aerobatics and vintage aircraft displays to hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) activities for kids and helicopter flights, there is something to appeal to all ages and interests. Following are 10 reasons why you can’t miss Wings Over Camarillo this year.
1. WATCH SPECTACULAR AVIATION PERFORMANCES & PYROTECHNICS
You won’t be able to take your eyes away from the sky watching unbelievably daring feats from A-list pilots at the helm of contemporary and vintage aircraft. Watch beautiful planes corkscrewing, tumbling, and even flying vertically through the air. See military planes that accomplished harrowing feats during foreign wars. Be awed by the bravery of formation parachute jumpers. Observe a water drop demonstration from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Air Unit. And don’t miss the pyrotechnics and grand finale Wall of Fire. Arrive early to score a good spot on the flight line, bring a chair, and enjoy the show.
Please note that the schedule is subject to last minute changes due to unforeseen weather and aircraft and pilot conditions.
2. SEE FAMOUS AIRCRAFT IRL
Visit the Static Aircraft Display to see the very same types of planes used by the U.S. Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy. Photo ops will be plentiful, so you can have a Top Gun-inspired moment posing next to an F/A-18, or channel the 1940s in front of a C-47 Skytrain used during WWII. Many of the aircraft you will see flying during the day are also available to view on the ground in the display area. Plus, you can meet the pilots and ask questions while getting up close and personal with the aircraft.
3. TAKE FLIGHT
If just seeing cool aircraft isn’t enough for you, Orbic Helicopters is offering budget-friendly helicopter rides for visitors Saturday and Sunday before the airshow between 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. On Saturday evening, Orbic will also offer evening flights at 5:00 p.m. Up in the air, take in stunning views of the nearby hills and mountains and cross off that bucket list item of flying in a helicopter if it’s your first time. All ages are welcome, and flights are $70 per person; children under two can sit in a parent’s lap at no charge.
For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, ages 12 and up can take flight in one of two vintage warbirds. Choose from the one-of-a-kind PBJ, Semper Fi, the only flying Marine Mitchell B-25 in the world that was lovingly restored by the Commemorative Air Force Museum over a period of 23 years. The other vintage plane taking paying passengers up is a bright yellow North American SNJ-5 Texan 290. For both warbirds, the maximum individual passenger weight is 225 pounds and masks will be required. Prices start at $395 and go up to $1,075 depending on plane, seat location, and flight duration.
Learn more about the helicopter and warbird flight experiences here.
4. CELEBRATE FEMALE FLYERS
Embrace this year’s theme, “Celebrating Women in Aviation” and delve into the remarkable contributions and accomplishments of female pilots and aviation trailblazers both past and present. Such fascinating female narratives are at the heart of the “Notable Women in Aviation” exhibit staged in the Commemorative Air Force Hangar. Don’t miss the inspiring story of Bessie Coleman, an American pilot and the first Black woman to gain a pilot’s license. And catch accomplished modern day fearless flyers Judy Phelps and Vicky Benzing in aerial action during the daily airshows.
5. HONOR OUR VETERANS
The Veteran’s Tent provides a special opportunity to visit with war veterans and talk to these heroes directly. Participants will be there to share their experiences serving in combat during WWII, the Korean War, and Vietnam. They include veteran pilots, air crew, mechanics, and other war-time specialties. It’s a particularly poignant opportunity for kids to learn about military service and how much our veterans continue to sacrifice on behalf of their fellow citizens.
6. GET HANDS-ON IN THE STEM PAVILION
Take the whole family to the Wings Over Camarillo STEM Pavilion for the chance to see drones and robotics in action, learn how airplanes fly, create all types of flying objects, and many more engaging and illuminating activities. The STEM Pavilion highlights what’s new in aviation and aerospace and other Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math fields. The Gold Coast Robotics Alliance will be hosting its annual Wings Over Camarillo FIRST Robotics Competition as well as demonstrations. Plus, attendees can learn more about education opportunities and STEM programs offered in the local region.
7. EAT GIANT PANCAKES
The Ventura County Chapter of the Ninety-Nines’ Pancake Breakfast kicks off each morning on the West End of the Food Court. They are known for their sizable hot cakes—bigger than your head, as advertised! They also serve sausages and hot coffee to help everyone start the day off on a strong, sweet note. Arrive early (gates open at 9:00 a.m.) to enjoy a plate before they sell out.
8. ADMIRE CLASSIC & EXOTIC CARS
Airplanes might be the star of Wings Over Camarillo but there are some very cool cars and motorcycles on display, too! Check out the Classic & Exotic Car and Motorcycle Show featuring vehicles from multiple decades and be sure to catch the classic car and motorcycle parade scheduled for Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
9. EXPERIENCE WWII LIVING HISTORY
The 82nd Airborne Division 505th Reenactment Camp, a recognized unit of the California Historical Group, the largest World War II organization and living history group on the West Coast, will stage a full armor and infantry reenactment involving tanks, halftrack, trucks, jeeps, and motorcycles. This meticulous reenactment is a sight to behold—and another way to honor our WWII veterans.
10. MAKE A WEEKEND OF WINGS
There’s so much to do and see at Wings Over Camarillo and in the local area, it’s a no-brainer to create a whole weekend getaway of it! Book a stay in one of our delightful hotels, motels, or inns and make yourselves at home with a comfortable room, poolside hangs, and other guest amenities. In between visits to the Camarillo Airport and your hotel, sip and savor award-winning craft beer, fine wines, and delicious seasonal fare at local restaurants, breweries, and wineries. Spend a morning hiking nearby trails and biking around Camarillo’s beautiful parks, or do some serious shopping at the Camarillo Premium Outlets and in Old Town Camarillo.
A long runway of fun awaits you here in Camarillo! Start planning your ultimate Wings Over Camarillo experience today!