On Sunday, July 7, Winona will be celebrating 30 years of free air shows, with the annual Fly-In Drive-In breakfast plus air and car show.
by Jen Burris
Attendees will have the chance to view Winona from above during the air show on Saturday.
The air show originated from the flying club that was part of the Winona State University (WSU) Aviation Physics Department and has been expanding every year, said Steve Buswell, event coordinator.
Dr. Bill Blank of La Crosse and Bob Richards of Kansas City, Kan., will be returning to the show, Buswell noted. Blank is very detailed in his flying, very professional, and does very difficult maneuvers, Buswell said. Richards has the tossing and tumbling the kids seem to love the most, Buswell added.
“For the last couple of years we’ve been building on a car show as well, and we had an excellent turnout last year,” Buswell said. A lot of car clubs in the area are participating; there should be a lot of unique cars there, Buswell noted. Word-of-mouth has helped the car show become a pretty good draw in and of itself, Buswell added. The car show is free as well, and runs from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
The air show begins at 10 a.m. and will be accompanied by the parade of planes, showcasing planes as far back as the 1940s, Buswell said. These planes will show the improvements that have been made over the years. Some planes may top out at 40 mph where as newer ones have top speeds of 300 mph, Buswell explained.
Airplane rides will be offered throughout the day, for around $20, during which participants will receive a “nice scenic ride over the Mississippi and the bluffs,” Buswell noted.
The annual breakfast, catered by Chartwells runs from 7:30 a.m. to about 11 a.m. The price is $7 for adults, and $5 for adults 62 and older and kids 12 and under. “I’ve been helping for 15 of the 30 years, and when I started we were serving maybe 300. Now we have over 1,000 for breakfast,” Buswell added.
“We want to remind people that airports are a vital transportation hub as well; airways are used all the time,” Buswell said. “The air show is really a grassroots airport open house. Here’s your airport; come enjoy it,” Buswell noted.