Lauderdale Air Show Draws Crowds to Fort Lauderdale Beach

The Air Show wrapped up Sunday afternoon.

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    Crowds of people showed up this weekend for the Lauderdale Air Show amid ramped up security.

    Performances took place at Fort Lauderdale Beach by Sunrise Boulevard and the A1A.

    On Saturday, the show drew an estimated 475,000 people to see civilian fliers perform in the skies, according to The Miami Herald.

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    The Lauderdale Air Show returned after five years Saturday. The show will also run from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.

    The show featured a variety of stunts teams, both local and international, including skydivers from Minnesota, parachuters from Spain and Lakeland's own Black Diamond jet team.

    "It's been such an amazing day, with wonderful shows," Adilia Roberts, a 30-year-old pilot from Miami told the Sun Sentinel. "I'll definitely be back next year."

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    With the Lauderdale Air Show returning this Saturday and Sunday and Fleet Week also taking place, this weekend promises to be one of the busiest tourist weekends in South Florida. "That weekend alone could pay my entire rent for two months," said Megan Haggins, a bartender in Fort Lauderdale. NBC 6 took a helicopter flight with Lt. Bill Dunbar Wednesday in the Coast Guard's Dolphin, which will do a demonstration in the air show.

    Security was heightened for the air show in response to Monday's Boston Marathon bombings.

    Surveillance cameras were up at the air show entrance on Sunrise Boulevard and A1A. Back packs and coolers were checked at the entrance.

    The Broward Sheriff's Office command center was also on loan to Fort Lauderdale Police for the weekend.

    "There are several different agencies that have stepped forward and offered their assistance throughout the weekend," said Deanna Greenlaw, spokesperson for the Fort Lauderdale Police Deaprtment.

    Fort Lauderdale Police are receiving aid from other agencies due to federal budget cuts.

    Those cuts have also affected the show itself.

    "The government sequestration affected everybody across the board and we found out that our military acts were cancelled," said Brad Swezey, who is in charge of public relations for the air show.

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    Private jet team Black Diamond took the place of the Thunderbirds, the U.S. Air Force demonstration squadron.

    Security was also be tighter at several other shows going on this weekend, including the Heat's Sunday game at AmericanAirlines Arena.

    "We have definitely increased security," said Kenia Reyes, public information officer for Miami Police. "We have a number of resources on standby such as our bomb squad, our canine officers."

    Tourist Alexa Winschuh said she appreciated the police presence.

    "It's comforting, it is comforting to see police, and knowing that people are there in case anything goes wrong," she said.

    Miami Police are also looking ahead to next week and preparing for Thursday's Mercedes-Benz Corporate Run in downtown.

    "No backpacks," Reyes said. "Absolutely there are no backpacks permitted at the actual race."

    Did you attend the Lauderdale Air Show? Send your photos to isee@nbc6.com and they could end up online.

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