Kids, candy and Santa at Manteo Airport Sunday; but illness cancels the C-54’s appearance        

By on December 16, 2022

The candy will be delivered differently this year at the Dare Regional Airport.. (File photo by Kip Tabb)

Children who show up at the Dare County Regional Airport in Manteo on Sunday, Dec. 18 will get their Christmas-season candy drop treats – cupcakes, candy attached to parachutes and soft-drinks — as well as a visit with Santa. What they won’t get, unfortunately, is the iconic C-54 cargo plane flying in the skies above the airport dropping those parachutes with candy.

According to Dare County Airport Director Stacy Ambrose, Tim Chopp, pilot of the C-54, was taken ill and he and the plane were not able to get to the airport to re-enact the Berlin Airlift candy drops made by “Candy Bomber” Gail Halvorsen in the years following World War II. Halvorsen passed away at the age of 101 earlier this year.

But the show will go on. Children who come to the airport at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday will get the goodies, the parachutes, Santa and of course, the festive holiday cheer courtesy of event organizer Karin Edmond, a longtime and dear friend of Halvorsen.

In Ambrose’s words: “Everything is the same, except no plane, no pilot.”

When reached by the Voice, Edmond was upset about the turn of events, but assured everybody the candy part of the candy drop will be in full swing at the airport on Sunday. She was also quickly formulating a Plan B, indicating that she plans to save some of the donations collected for this event and use them to invite the C-54 and Chopp “to come and have a small candy drop…in early spring.”

Maybe that visit, she pondered, could be timed with Easter holiday.

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