Sunday, April 10, 2016

Tailgaters Gather in Daniel Village to Watch Private Planes Depart Every Masters Sunday

Augusta, Ga. (WJBF)- The roads have obviously been busy during Masters Week, but the sky has been as well.

And some Augustans are enjoying seeing the traffic in the air rather than the roads.

People tailgate at Daniel Village to watch private planes take off as the Tournament wraps up on Sunday, and many make a day of it every year.

“We’re just coming out here to watch the planes take off,” said spectator Michelle Epps. “We have for the last few years.”

Every day of Masters Week, around 100 private planes make Daniel Field their home base, but many leave before the tournament ends.

“This group we hear that they would much rather be at home watching the final rounds on television because you can’t get to the eighteenth green with all the people around,” said Becky Shealy, the interim airport manager at Daniel Field.

Some locals like to watch the mass exodus of small planes front and center from their cars parked at Daniel Village.

“The beauty about it is the variety of planes because normally you don’t get to see 20 or 30 planes take off in one day,” Epps said.

A crowd gathers to tailgate as the day progresses and more and more planes take flight.

“Usually there’s people outside on the grass out there and they’ll have blankets. They’ll have picnics out here,” Epps said. “Just having fun.”

One local business in Daniel Village is even extending its hours to catch the potential customers hanging out in the parking lot.

“People all throughout the week have been camped out in the parking lot, just tailgating and stuff so it’s really exciting,” said Summerville Scoops employee Rachel Keegan.

Many time-old traditions surround the Masters, but one tradition known perhaps only to locals is watching planes zooming over and out of Augusta as the business of Masters Week winds down.

“We laugh and say this is Augusta’s second air show,” said Shealy. “It’s family fun, it doesn’t cost you anything, and it really is something to see.”

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