Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Madras-based show continues to grow; a high bar has been set for next year's 20th anniversary event

Wow, another magnificent Airshow of the Cascades.

The Madras Municipal Airport, a fantastic melding of modern and historic elements, is a beautiful venue to showcase our community. Friday night was a picture-perfect postcard for the Madras area, the Agency Plains, and the majestic view of the Cascades and the brilliant sunsets that we grow too used to. It's flat awesome.

Congratulations to Joe Krenowicz, the Chamber executive director and air show chairman, and maybe its busiest board member, Rick Allen, all the board and the many major volunteers who make that show so amazing.

2019 will go down as a huge year for the show. Organizers note that attendance increased roughly 10% this year, with most of that occurring on the growingly popular Friday night half. Certainly one element of Friday people were crazy over was the fireworks display. These low-exploding fireworks — which are, of course, at a safe distance, but seem as if they're about 50 yards in front of your face — are an excellent cap to the show. It's rapid-fire fireworks, and it's stunning. The faux bombing runs we all recall were great, but the fireworks show is far superior, in my estimation.

It's impressive and community-affirming to note how many people volunteer at the show — more than 300. The show organizers call the volunteers the "true heroes" of the event. Well, I think it's the core group of show board members and key people they rely on, those who work on it virtually throughout the year. But sure, the show wouldn't work without the many volunteers who show up ready to work. But the show also allows many church groups and civic organizations to fundraise and earn some dollars for their causes. The pride of helping out and being part of the great event is just a bonus.

A few of us here at the Pioneer get to take part in what might be the most fun "job" of all, driving the shuttle carts from the main show area to the Erickson Aircraft Collection and back. I probably made, I don't know, 75 to 100 such runs Friday afternoon-evening. It's so fun to see how everyone is enjoying themselves, how excited the kids are. It's also great to visit with people from out of the area, or even out of the state, and get to welcome them to town, to the show, and thank them for coming.

The Airshow of the Cascades is such a great postcard for the Madras area. Keep climbing higher, air show committee.

Next year will mark the 20th anniversary. This year's show set a very high bar with drawing people to Madras and the airport venue. An expectation to top it, of course, is what that creates for next year. I'm already looking forward to the show tweaks and entertainment bookings that the 2020 event will bring.

But, for now, let's give Joe K., Rick, and other key organizers like Bruce Hoyt, Tom Brown and Judy Solso a break, and plenty of pats on the back. Let them bask in the job well done.

Speaking of congratulations … let's hear it for the Nartz family on their place becoming an Oregon Century Farm this past weekend.

The extended family of Jim Nartz — whose grandparents started the Ashwood ranch in 1917, and his son and daughter currently operate it with him — was honored at the Oregon State Fair. Their 9,337-acre Ashwood spread is just the fifth Central Oregon ranch-farm to earn a Century Farm honor. That honor entails one family operating a ranch continually for a century.

We're hoping we can get them to sit down for a bit and allow us to do a larger profile on the family, their ranching operation, and a century of living in the Ashwood country. That's some Jefferson County on the bone right there. That's awesome.

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