Weekend set for Grangeville
The inaugural Warbird Weekend is set for this Saturday, July 14, at
the Idaho County Airport.
Admission is free. Warbird Weekend runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and
the key sponsors are the Ida-Lew Economic Development Council (ILEDC),
Idaho County and Anderson Aeromotive.
"There is something for everyone at Warbird Weekend — check out flyable
pieces of our nation's military history, support local veterans, enjoy
great food, if you're young take a free plane ride or if you're of age,
enjoy the beer/wine garden," said event coordinator, Melisa Bryant, and
ILEDC economic development specialist.
HISTORIC / MODERN AIRCRAFT
Several historic/current aircraft are scheduled to attend including a 1941
Vultee BT-13A, Beechcraft T-34B Mentor, Lockheed Harpoon PV-2, Navy N3N
training biplane, Liberty Sport biplane, North American T-6 and an AStar
AS 350B3. The Idaho Army National Guard will have a Lakota helicopter on
site, which is being used in conjunction with a local EMT training event,
and will offer a kids' obstacle course. Salmon River Helicopters of Riggins
plans to bring a Bell UH1-F Huey, and additional aircraft will be brought
in by LifeFlight and the Coeur d'Alene Civil Air Patrol Composite Squadron.
More aircraft may be attending as plans finalize toward Saturday.
KIDS’ FREE FLIGHTS / COSTUME CONTEST
Highlighting kids' activities are the free introductory flights with the
Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Young Eagles Program. Youth ages
8 to 17 can receive a flight with a licensed local volunteer, 10 a.m. to
2 p.m., and afterwards they receive their own log book along with a certificate.
To participate, kids need to have a parent or guardian sign a waiver at
Kids can also participate in the pilot costume contest at noon.
All participants receive a prize, and winners will receive an ice cream
certificate for Yummyz in Grangeville.
BREAKFAST / LUNCH, TOURS, PRESENTATIONS
"Starting off, we will have a pancake and sausage breakfast with the proceeds
going to Quilts of Valor," Bryant said, "which provides free quilts to
veterans." This opens to the public at 10 a.m.
The family-oriented event features self-guided aircraft tours, as well
as guided tours of the Anderson Aeromotive facility (at 824 North D Street)
and the USFS Grangeville Air Center smokejumper base (use south entrance
off Airport Road), historic aviation displays, presentations by area chambers
of commerce, and a beer and wine garden and lunch.
The event serves double duty as providing a new annual community event
and also showcasing the Idaho County Airport as a gateway to North Central
Idaho's back country recreation, as well as a hub for economic development
PRESENT / FUTURE OF IDAHO COUNTY AIRPORT
"We think we can become America's warbird workshop," said Idaho County
Commissioner James Rockwell, who has been an advocate for using the airport
to generate business and economic activity for the region. "In our continuing
effort to do that, last year we signed a 40,000-square-foot lease for an
Anderson Aeromotive expansion at the airport. Three to four jobs will follow."
"Warbird Weekend showcases our competitive edge," he continued, "and
the opportunities available at the airport for ancillary business expansion.
It's just an idea, but an idea with wings. Look down the road 10 years
and maybe we've got 30 to 40 new jobs at the airport."
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