Air show draws crowds Friday night
Despite slightly smoky skies, thousands of people attended last weekend's Airshow of the Cascades at the Madras Airport.
Rick Allen, treasurer for the air show, estimated that there were about 14,000 people in attendance over the two-day event, Friday and Saturday, Aug. 25-26.
"The income was down about 20 percent from last year, but it was the same as a couple years ago, because we have been growing," he said.
Allen attributed the decrease to "eclipse fatigue," noting that hordes of people had visited the previous weekend for the eclipse, and many didn't want to get back into long traffic lines.
That combined with the smoky haze in the air and the hot temperatures, "caused folks to stay home both local and from around the region more than we would have anticipated," he said. "Too much in one week for people to deal with."
Nevertheless, the air show had excellent aerobatic and motorcycle acts, static aircraft and car displays, and at least 50 vendors. "We did great on the fish and chips," said Allen. "We sold about 800 dinners."
"Friday was the busiest," he said. "It's become popular due to the fish fry, night show, sunset and fireworks."
If people were wondering about why there was no grand finale for the Friday night fireworks, Allen said that a small brush fire started during the first part of the fireworks show burned some of the wires that control the tubes.
"Otherwise, we had no accidents or problems this year," said Allen.
Visitors enjoying the popular event included Joe Hudspeth, of Prineville, who attended the air show on Sunday, with his brother. "I think it's fascinating, with all the airplanes and photo opps. This is my third time to come here," he said.
His brother, Larry Hudspeth, of Bend, added, "It's my first time and I think it's pretty exciting. It's a lot more fun than I thought it would be and I'm amazed at the aerobatics."
Dennis and Tery Trebino, of Madras, were also first-timers. "I love it," said Tery Trebino, who usually watches from her home north of Madras. "I'll be back next year."