Air show changes lineup, attractions
For the 19th annual Airshow of the Cascades, held Aug. 24-25, at the Madras Municipal Airport, organizers changed the lineup, added attractions and were pleasantly surprised by the results.
"We made some major change-ups for the 2018 air show and we saw the crowd we expected," said Joe Krenowicz, president of the Airshow ot the Cascades Board of Directors. "Our parking lots were fuller than the past and we had over 30 additional RVers and tent sites in the first year of offering the additional sites."
Rick Allen, the air show treasurer, said that he hasn't figured receipts yet, but definitely saw an increase over last year, when attendance was down slightly after the exodus from the total solar eclipse earlier in the week of the 2017 air show.
"Gate receipts were up," said Allen. "I'm not sure how much exactly, but more than 10 percent, and our prices did not change." Last year, attendance was estimated at 14,000, which would put this year's attendance at more than 15,400.
While there were some leftovers from the fish and chips dinner on Friday night, Allen said that vendors did well.
Regarding the lineup changes, Allen said, "The fireworks on Friday night — we've had nothing but rave reviews."
"A variety of the acts provided by Erickson Aircraft Collection on Saturday was well-received; we had more jets," he added. "People like the noise and the speed and, of course, the Black Daggers were very popular. They interacted with the crowd and allowed kids to help roll up their parachutes. And our new motorcycle show worked out pretty good for sure; we're sure it will be back."
Krenowicz agreed, "Adding the motorcycle show was a hit and it complemented the Erickson Aircraft Collection's location."
"Our first-year outdoor band with Countryfied, sponsored by Subaru of Bend, was well-received, along with Pacific Powers' Friday night fireworks, which was a hit that was still talked about Monday morning."
A new act, the official U.S. Army Special Operations Command's Parachute Demonstration Team — the Black Daggers — came to Oregon from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, for their first Oregon performance. At the kickoff party for the air show on Thursday, Aug. 23, the team presented Krenowicz with a signed photograph of the performers.
"I was proud to accept the framed photo of the Black Daggers, recognizing their appreciation of being a part of the 2018 Airshow of the Cascades," said Krenowicz.
"The hit of both the Friday and Saturday shows was the dog fight between the Red Baron and Stephen Covington," said Krenowicz. "The crowd really got into the action, booing the Red Baron throughout the act. This was the first time in many years we have had a storyline to an act since Don Mobley's comedy airplane show."
Also of interest this year was at least one return visit prompted by last year's solar eclipse.
"We had a returning visitor who traveled from Canada to experience the eclipse last August," said Krenowicz. "He was unable to stay over to attend last year's air show, so he came back down for this year's show and even volunteered to help out with our parking crew."