Air Fair returns to Garfield County |

Air Fair returns to Garfield County

John Colson
Post Independent
Aspen, CO Colorado

RIFLE, Colo. – The Garfield County Air Fair will return next summer, after missing a year due to construction of an realigned runway and other improvements.

The popular event, scheduled for July 8-9 takes place at the Garfield County Regional Airport near Rifle, and last drew an estimated 15,000 people to watch aerial acrobatics, view vintage planes and check out the airport facility in general.

Next year, in addition to the show, attendees will be able to see exactly what the county and the Federal Aviation Administration spent roughly $40 million on over the course of the preceding year.

“This is really the inaugural of the new facility as far as most of the public is concerned,” said county Dale Hancock, general services director for the county.

He said that that approximately 800 people came to the county’s airport open house in October, and that the county is hoping 20,000 will come to the air show.

Hancock, with County Manager Ed Green and Airport Director Brian Condie, went to an air show in Las Vegas, Nev. recently to line up acts for the show, which is expected to cost approximately $200,000.

Among the acts scheduled for the air show, Hancock said, will be a female aerobatics pilot, who will do a show similar to the display two years ago by Patty Wagstaff, and the Don Nelson Air Show, based in Aurora, Colo.

The Indy Boys, from Indianapolis, Ind., will be displaying their rocket-powered school bus, which Hancock said can reach land speeds of up to 600 mph. The bus, he said, stops by means of a parachute.

Other acts will include the Aerostars, who perform acrobatics and tight formations in single-engine prop planes; the Golden Knights, the U.S. Army’s sky-diving team; and a number of “old warbirds” from the Commemorative Air Force of Midland, Texas.

While the CAF planes will primarily be on “static display,” Hancock said, rides will be available on some of the antique planes.

And finally, Hancock said, there will be a B-29 bomber on hand.

The 2009 Air Show, Hancock recalled, featured a B-25 bomber, but he said the B-29 is “a much, much larger plane, like, twice as much plane” as the B-25.

There will be food vendors on hand, and admission is to be free.

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