Kiwanis Fly-In Cruise-In to change location, offerings
This summer is already shaping up to be full of changes, and the Sandy Kiwanis Fly-In Cruise-In is not exempt.
After more than 20 years at McKinnon Airpark, the Kiwanis Fly-In Cruise-In is moving to a new location — Oral Hull Park for the Blind, 43233 S.E. Oral Hull Road, Sandy. This year's festivities will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, July 29.
Because of the change in venue, there also will not be a fly-in portion this year or in the foreseeable future.
The McKinnon Airpark is home to local herbal supplement company Eclectic Institute, founded by the late Ed Alstat and his wife, Chris. In recent years the duo worked to gain organic certification for their Sandy herb farm, and have now succeeded.
The Kiwanians worried that hosting their event at the farm might cause harm and possibly affect that certification, so they decided to move the Cruise-In.
"It is out of appreciation and respect that we feel the change is necessary to preserve what (the Alstats) have worked so hard for," Kiwanis Vice President and event Chairman Mike Pickett told The Post. "We can't risk Chris' livelihood for this event. ... They've been extremely generous over the years to let us use this space."
Because there isn't another airport in Sandy with ample neighboring space to host the car show, the fly-in portion was eliminated.
"Long term, our hope is to stay here," Pickett noted. "We didn't want to take it out of Sandy, so we took the planes out of the picture. McKinnon Airpark was the ideal location for us, but with the evolution of the farm (comes) changes. The Kiwanis are very appreciative of the Alstats and Eclectic Institute for allowing us to hold our event at their wonderful facility. We're really excited about the new location. It was a tough decision to make the change."
Pickett is optimistic that moving the event to Oral Hull Park will be "bringing a benefit" to another local nonprofit organization. Oral Hull Park opened in 1962 with support from groups like the local Kiwanis Club. Park volunteers provide several programs for those with visual impairments and other community events throughout the year.
Pickett said in an act of good stewardship, the Kiwanians will make a few "small improvements" to the grounds at Oral Hull Park free of charge.
In order to use the land within the park's track for parking, the group will create an opening in the fencing. The Kiwanians are hoping this will prove useful for the park in the future as well.
"In a lot of ways I think this facility will do well for us," Pickett noted. "It will put everything together for us because with the airport we were starting to get really spread out. ... I think it's going to be a big improvement having the guest parking so close to the show area. I think this will open the event up to people of all mobilities."
With the layout at Oral Hull Park, the car show and booth fair will take place in the field in front of the Rainbow Lodge.
The other big change this year is not having a breakfast. Pickett explained that this aspect of the event may be brought back in future years, but was cut from this year's event to make it more manageable among the other changes. However, the Snack Shack will still be open, now with an expanded menu.
"We're trying to keep the event well orchestrated," Pickett said. "We've had a lot of really good ideas, so we're really excited about it. ... Change is hard, but we ask that the public support us and understand we believe this was in everyone's best interest."
For more information about the event or Kiwanis, call Mike Pickett at 971-235-6675.