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Popular jet, drone act highlight this year's Airshow of the Cascades Aug. 23-24.

HOLLY M. GILL/MADRAS PIONEER - This year's Airshow of the Cascades will kick off Friday, Aug. 23, and run through Saturday, Aug. 24. Above, the Friday night crowd awaits the start of the aerobatics show at last year's event.With spectacular performances and displays, the Airshow of the Cascades will return for its annual event Friday and Saturday, Aug. 23 and 24, at the Madras Municipal Airport.

"This Airshow Festival is an annual event with the goal to always be family friendly-centered with an up-close and friendly experience," said Joe Krenowicz, president of the air show board.

The air show will open its doors to the public at 2 p.m. Aug. 23, with static displays of vintage aircraft, cars, motorcycles and new this year, bicycles.

"Precious Byrd will be there Friday night during the annual fish and chips dinner, and they will play from 5-7 p.m., and come back after the fireworks and play for another hour," said Rick Allen, who is in charge of booking performers for the show.

Considered one of the most popular bands in the Pacific Northwest, Precious Byrd drew rave reviews last year, when the band played at the August 2018 First Thursday Park and Play event in downtown Madras.

The annual fish and chips dinner, this year to be managed by Dustin Miller, of Madras, will run from 5:30-6:30 p.m., while supplies last. At 7 p.m., the aerobatic performances begin, topped off by a fireworks display around 9:30 p.m.

"One of the neat new acts is the Great Lakes Drone Co., from southwest Michigan," said Allen. "They will have 30-plus drones flying synchronized as part of the Friday night show. On Saturday, the drones will have smoke coming out of them."

After a several year absence, Mark Peterson will be back with his Dornier Alpha Jet, a light attack and advanced trainer jet. "It's a fast, loud jet that people love," said Allen.

Other returning performers include Yuichi Takagi, an aerobatic instructor, who will be back with his Pitts S-2S; Ben Rose, one of the country's youngest aerobatic performers; and Bud Granley, a former Royal Canadian Air Force pilot.

In honor of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 1944, when Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normany, the Erickson Aircraft Collection will be flying the P-38, and other World War II aircraft.

In addition to the car show, motorcycle show, and a bicycle show, Allen said, "We do have a monster truck (Break the Chain) coming, from out of the Valley, that will be on display, and a big tent, where kids can learn about D-Day and interact, also coming from the Valley."

Besides the monster truck, said Krenowicz, there will be a dragster, "and a few other unique vehicles to the Les Schwab-sponsored car show. A drag bike will be in the motorcycle show, as well."

On Saturday, gates open to the public at 9 a.m., when the Madras Elks will have their annual breakfast. Another area musical talent, Court Priday, will perform from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., when the aerobatic performances begin. The air show closes at 5 p.m.

"With the growth of the air show, we have used up all of the hotel room inventory in Madras, so we added additional RV and camping accommodations in the open space south of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office," said Krenowicz.

So far, there are about 25 vendors signed up for the show.

Volunteer coordinator Margaret Kincaid said that she needs to sign up about twice as many volunteers as she has currently signed up.

"We take volunteers up until the day of," she said. "Usually about this time, I have about half of what I really need. I have about 200 right now, and we need about 400."

"It's usually crunch time the last week," she said, noting that churches and civic organizations make plans to help, and "sometimes we don't get those until the last minute. The biggest need is the last to be filled, which is parking. It's one of the hardest jobs we have, but one of the most rewarding; you get to wave at people, welcome them and give them directions."

Volunteers receive free admission to the show and Erickson Aircraft Collection, as well as a T-shirt and complimentary snacks.

To register, go to the air show's website at cascadeairshow.com and click on "Volunteer" to go to the registration page, or call Kincaid at 541-480-2264.

General admission tickets for the show are $20 each day. Veterans, with ID, and children 5 and under get in at no charge. Tickets for children from 6-12 are $6. Tickets can be purchased online, or at the gate.


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