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Abbotsford International Airshow

Abbotsford Airshow Fighter Jet Static Display

Taking place on a weekend in August and featuring all kinds of vintage planes and military aircraft, the Abbotsford International Airshow is amazing.


This article contains information about the following topics:

About the Airshow | 2018 Details | 2018 Highlights | 2018 Schedule | Admission Prices | Tips & Advice | Other Information

Click on any of the above links to jump to specific information, or continue reading to learn all about the Abbotsford International Airshow.


The Abbotsford Airshow

In 2018 the Airshow took place on the weekend of August 10-12 at the Abbotsford Airport (YXX) at 1595 Townline Road in Abbotsford. In 2019 the dates are August 9-11.

The event has been taking place each summer for over 50 years and typically draws over 125,000 people, making it Western Canada’s largest airshow.

In 2019 performers include the USAF Thunderbirds, Canadian Forces Snowbirds, the CF-18 Demo Team and others.

Snowbird Planes at Abbotsford Airshow
Canadian Forces Snowbirds

About the Abbotsford Airshow

The three-day event draws aircraft and spectators from around the world. In most years highlights include appearances by Canada’s Snowbirds, Canadian Forces parachute teams, entries from the Canadian Museum of Flight and demonstrations by Canadian Forces CF-18 Hornets. Foreign air forces also participate.

The Abbotsford Airshow is definitely one of Metro Vancouver’s top annual events, especially for people who like airplanes. Even for those who aren’t airplane fanatics, the spectacle can be very entertaining.

In 2013 the event was listed as one of the world’s top 10 airshows by USA Today. Of the other nine, six were from the US, two from the UK and one in Germany.

Taking a Look at a Fighter Display

Airshow Details

Most years the Abbotsford International Airshow grounds are open from 3:30 until 10:30 pm on the Friday, and from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm on the Saturday and Sunday.

The main flying events take place between around 5:30 and 10:00 pm on the Friday of the second weekend in August, and from 11:00 am until 4:30 pm on the Saturday and Sunday.

In addition to the main ticketed events at the Abbotsford Airport on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday, in 2018 there was also a free pre-Airshow event at Mill Lake Park on the evening of Thursday, August 10th. See below for details.


For a video of airshow stunts from inside a 1958 Nanchang CJ-6A that often performs at the event, click Video with Geoff Latter Airshows.

Geoff Latter in Nanchang CJ-6A Stunt Plane
Geoff Latter in a Nanchang CJ-6A

2018 Airshow Highlights and Performers

Below is information about what to expect at the Airshow in general. A major highlight of the event though is the Twilight Show on the Friday evening. That’s when the Canadian Forces Snowbirds usually do a show, and Canadian CF-18s and American Super Hornets or other equivalent jets do flyovers.

The Friday evening also finishes with fireworks which last for about 12 or so minutes. If you can make it to the Friday evening Twilight Show, do! They are impressive and include fireworks in both the sky and blasting off from the ground!

Performers scheduled to be at the Abbotsford Airshow in 2018 include the following:

USAF C-5 Galaxy at Abbotsford Airshow
USAF C-5 Galaxy

In 2018 there were also shows and appearances by the following aircraft and pilots:

  • USAF C-5 Galaxy – a giant American military transport plane built by Lougheed and maintained by Lougheed Martin.
  • CF-18 Hornet Demo – flown by Captain Stefan Porteous of the Royal Canadian Air Force.
  • T-33 “Acemaker” Shooting Star – a fighter plane of the style used in the Korean war.
  • Rob Holland – the New England-based American stunt pilot performs in his all carbon-fiber American-made plane.
  • Gary Rower – the American stunt pilot entertains in the sky with his 450-horsepower flight trainer plane.
  • Buck Roetman – the American stunt pilot flies a 250-horsepower Lycoming IO360 built by Penn Yan Aero.
  • USAF Heritage Flight – an American flying team whose planes include a P-47 Thunderbolt (used in WWII and throughout the 1950s) and an A-1 Skyraider (used in the Korean and Vietnam wars).
  • A-1 Skyraider – an American plane used in the Korean War with a maximum speed of 320 miles per hour and a range of 1,1547 nautical miles.
  • F8F Bearcat – an American WWII piston-engine fighter plane designed to defend against Japanese kamikaze attacks.
  • Grumman F6F Hellcat – an American aircraft carrier-based fighter designed to fight against Japanese Zeros in the Second World War.
  • TBM-3E Avenger “Ida Red” – an American torpedo bomber first introduced in the early 1940s, later modified and then retired in the 1960s.
  • A-10 Thunderbolt II Demo – an air support plane from the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in the United States.
A-10 Thunderbolt II Demo
A-10 Thunderbolt II

2018 Airshow Schedule

Below is the schedule for the Abbotsford Airshow in 2018. (Note: times and details are subject to change.)

Thursday August 9th (Free Movie Night Event)

The following free events took place at Abbotsford’s Mill Lake Park in the 33000 block of Bevan Avenue (near the intersection with Wilerose Street).

  • 7:00 pm – Orchestra Concert
  • 8:45 pm – Lantern Puppet Parade
  • 9:00 pm – the Disney movie Planes shows outdoors on a big screen

Admission the evening’s events was by donation. People were encouraged to bring their lawn chairs. and women were encouraged to wear fancy hats!

Click Free Concert & Movie Night for more details.

Friday August 10th (Twilight Show)

  • 3:30 pm – Displays, exhibits and concessions are open
  • 4:30 pm – US Navy Blue Angels
  • 5:15 pm – Opening ceremonies
  • 5:30 pm – Flying events
  • 6:00 pm – Canadian Forces Snowbirds
  • 7:30 pm – Static displays close
  • 8:30 pm – CF-18 Hornet Twilight Demo
  • 9:45 pm – Evening fireworks
  • 10:30 pm – Gates close
Abbotsford Airshow Fireworks
Fireworks Night at the Abbotsford Airshow

Saturday August 11th

  • 9:00 am – Displays, exhibits and concessions are open
  • 10:45 am – Opening ceremonies
  • 11:00 am to 4:30 pm – Flying events
  • 2:00 pm – US Navy Blue Angels
  • 3:00 pm – CF-18 Hornet Demo
  • 3:45 pm – Canadian Forces Snowbirds
  • 4:30 pm – Static displays close
  • 6:00 pm – Gates close

Sunday August 12th

  • 9:00 am – Displays, exhibits and concessions are open
  • 10:45 am – Opening ceremonies
  • 11:00 am to 4:30 pm – Flying events
  • 2:00 pm – US Navy Blue Angels
  • 3:00 pm – CF-18 Hornet Demo
  • 3:45 pm – Canadian Forces Snowbirds
  • 4:30 pm – Static displays close
  • 6:00 pm – Gates close

Click Airshow Schedule for more information about what happened and when in 2018.

Fighter Jet Display at Abbotsford Airshow
A fighter jet in the static display

Airshow Admission Prices

Single-day admission for adults ranges from around $25 to $35 (plus GST and online fees) depending on when and how you purchase your tickets.

Tickets are cheapest when purchased online and prior to August. Members of the military are free (with valid ID), as are children under 6 years of age. Children ages 6 to 12 are about half the regular adult price, and multi-day passes are also available. Parking is $10 per vehicle for the day.

Below are the early bird, regular online, at-the-gate and multi-day admission rates for 2018. All prices are plus GST and online fees.

Early Bird Tickets

  • Adults (ages 13+) – $25 per day or $40 for the weekend
  • Children (ages 6 to 12) – $12.50 per day or $20 for the weekend
  • Family Passes (2 adults and 2 children ages 6 to 17) – $75 per day (including parking)
  • Children (under 5 years of age) – Free
  • Members of the Military – Free

Online Tickets (purchased after July 31st)

  • Adults (ages 13+) – $29 per day or $44 for the weekend
  • Children (ages 6 to 12) – $14 per day or $24 for the weekend
  • Family Passes (2 adults and 2 children ages 6 to 17) – $85 per day (including parking)
  • Children (under 5 years of age) – Free
  • Members of the Military – Free

Tickets at the Gate

  • Adults (ages 13+) – $35 per day or $50 for the weekend
  • Children (ages 6 to 12) – $20 per day or $30 for the weekend
  • Family Passes (2 adults and 2 children ages 6 to 17) – $100 per day (including parking)
  • Children (under 5 years of age) – Free
  • Members of the Military – Free
Abbotsford Airshow Grounds and Grandstand
General seating with the Grandstand in the distance

Grandstand Seating & Craft Beer Garden

In addition to the above costs for general admission, once inside the venue visitors have the option to pay extra for premium seating.

For folk ages 19+ there is the option of seating in the Grandstand area which also features a special craft beer garden. VIP Grandstand admission costs around $75 and includes reserved Grandstand seating, a couple of beers and VIP parking.

Jump Seats admission in the Grandstand area costs around $45 and includes reserved showline seating and one drink token. On the day, people just wanting access to the craft beer area and the standing room area at the Grandstand can pay just $15 which includes one drink.

Note: in 2018 the Craft Beer Garden in the Grandstand area featured only beers, so no ciders or other kinds of alcoholic beverages.


For more information about admission, or to purchase tickets, click abbotsfordairshow.com.


Canadian Snowbird Planes at Abbotsford
Snowbirds at the Abbotsford Airshow

Tips and Advice

Below are some tips to help you make the most out of your visit to the airshow.

TIP #1: It can get hot in August in Abbotsford on a sunny day. Be sure to bring plenty to drink, or plan to buy refreshments there.

TIP #2: Bring a lawn chair, blanket or something else to sit on, plus a hat to wear as there is little or no shade.

TIP #3: Admission for both active members of the military and veterans is free. If you qualify, make sure to take your ID as proof of service.

TIP #4: If attending the Friday night fireworks, try to get to your car at the end as soon as you can. Be prepared for lots of traffic and have patience!

TIP #5: If you can’t make the Abbotsford Airshow but absolutely love planes, then check out the Canadian Museum of Flight. Located in Hangar #3 at 5333 216th Street in Langley, it’s a small to medium-sized museum with both indoor and outdoor exhibits.

TIP #6: The Abbotsford Airshow can be a great event for the entire family. For young kids though (or anyone with very sensitive ears) it might not hurt to bring a set of ear plugs for the especially noisy jets.

Abbotsford Airshow
Young Girl with Ear Protectors

Other Information

For further details about the event, or to buy tickets, click Abbotsford Airshow.

For more information about the region, check out Abbotsford or the Fraser Valley.

For ideas on other things to do, check out our August Calendar of Events or click Festivals & Events.