With all the fuss over the once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse next week, it might be easy to overlook the city of Madras' signature event — the Airshow of the Cascades — set for Friday and Saturday, Aug. 25 and 26, at the Madras Municipal Airport.
That would be a mistake. "We're looking forward to another great air show for this year," said Joe Krenowicz, president of the air show's board of directors. "Every year, the attendance has grown with the unique and always changing aerial performances, changing static displays and new vendors."
The Here's to the Heroes Title Sponsor, Budweiser, is once again enabling the air show to offer free general admission to veterans, who must show their ID at the gate. General admission tickets are $15 for age 13 and older, and $5 for youths ages 6-12; kids age 5 and under get in free. The price of the ticket inludes admission to the Erickson Aircraft Collection, on Berg Drive, at the airport. Tickets can be purchased online at airshowofthecascades.com.
"As we have grown, the need for financial support grows as well, in our attempt to meet guest expectations, safety and changing up the experience every year," said Krenowicz. "Daimler Truck, manufacturer of Freightliner trucks, with their new testing facility at the Madras airport, recognizes the value of this signature event in Madras and is our presenting sponsor this year."
Krenowicz, who is also the executive director of the Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, said that it takes more than 300 volunteers to prepare in advance by setting up the site three days ahead of time, to manage the two-day air show, and to tear down over a couple of days afterwards.
"The total solar eclipse has been a focus for months and, by many, for over a few years," he said. "We are anticipating some of our solar eclipse guests will stay or return four days later to enjoy an up-front and close air show in Madras."
"This year, we have Yellow Thunder, a two-aircraft aerial demonstration team from Canada," said Krenowicz. "This will be the first time they have been a part of the show and I hear they put on quite a show."
After the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, locals will shift their attention to the air show. "A huge transition for Madras will occur starting Tuesday morning, after the solar eclipse, in recovery and clean up mode in preparation for the incoming of air show enthusiasts, air show performers and set up crews," said Krenowicz.
Rob Berg, airport manager, is hopeful that there will be enough volunteers for both the eclipse events and the air show. "I think the biggest impact (the eclipse) will have on the air show is volunteers," he said. "(Volunteers think) They can do one, and not the other."
Krenowicz encouraged those interested in volunteering for the air show to go to the air show's website at airshowofthecascades.com and sign up under the "Volunteer" tab.