Bad weather doesn’t stop people from attending Aviation Expo in Glenwood
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
The sounds of airplanes buzzing overhead and cheers from the crowd echoed in the cloud-filled sky above Glenwood Springs on Saturday.
After an early morning storm broke and rains faded, a line of people formed as the crowd started filing into the second annual Aviation Expo at the Glenwood Springs Airport.
“I’m pretty stoked with the turnout. We got a late start because of the rain,” said Amy Helm, the airport manager. “Now we have an hour wait for airplane and helicopter rides.”
More then 500 people made their way to the airport for Saturday’s event. A half-dozen pilots were giving airplane and helicopter rides with a $30 donation for adults, kids 5 and younger were free.
Several planes were on hand for visitors to get an up-close look, along with a dozen informational booths about aviation.
For Aaron and Bailey McCallister of Glenwood Springs it was a nice event to take their daughter Collette, 4, and their son Cord, 2, because it’s in the neighborhood.
“We live close by and always hear the planes flying over,” Bailey McCallister said. “It’s nice to get to see them up close.”
“The kids love it,” Aaron McCallister said. “I grew up in (Grand) Junction, and got to see the air show every year; it’s nice my kids get to experience a little of what I did.
“We came last year, too, I could see it growing every year,” Aaron McCallister added.
Music, food, children activities and more kept visitors busy taking in the sights offered during the event.
“It’s pretty neat, especially for the kids,” said Matt McGrogan of Glenwood Springs. “My wife is a licensed pilot, so it’s fun to see my kids showing an interest.”
“I want to fly a plane,” said Elizabeth McGrogan, 5, after a plane took off nearby.
“They were enamored with the helicopters and planes that were saving the mountain during the Lake Christine Fire,” said Matt McGrogan as his daughter Elizabeth and son Finn, 2, jumped around and smiled after witnessing more takeoffs and landings.
The event also gave area aviation schools and businesses a chance to give locals information on services they offer.
Pamela McGrogan, MD, Matt’s wife, is the new aviation medical examiner at Grand River Health in Rifle. She was walking around introducing herself and letting people know the services she offers.
“Its great to see so many kids,” Pamela McGrogan said. “There are so many jobs available in the aviation industry for people interested in it.
“My father was a pilot, that’s how I got into flying,” McGrogan added. “I hope my kids find the same love I have for it.”
As the afternoon wore on, people continued to file into the airport to take in the expo and all the planes.
Watching and making sure the flights were running smoothly from outside the nearby airport office, manager Helm said, “It’s nice to have this much support from the community.”
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Colorado has been hit with a substantial spike in COVID-19 cases, with one in 41 residents believed to be contagious. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, warned during a virtual news conference that Colorado is not alone in seeing a spike in cases and pleaded with people not to travel or gather in large groups.