Glenwood’s Airport Expo is family-friendly FUNdraiser
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Have you ever wished to fly in a small aircraft or helicopter? Are you interested in touring around aircraft and talking with the owners? Ever dreamed of entering flight school and learning to fly? Now is your chance.
The Glenwood Airport is hosting an Aviation Expo this Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. that will include all of the above, and will be a family-friendly event geared toward both aviation enthusiasts and those who are merely curious about aviation and would like to explore it in a more up-close and personal setting.
“We want to invite the community, let them walk around the aircraft, get cheap if not free airplane and helicopter rides and inspire them,” Airport manager Amy Helm said.
The Expo is a fundraiser for the airport, which otherwise depends on the city and the pilots who use it for its funding. As such, there is a suggested donation of $30 for plane rides and $50 for helicopter rides, although children 12 and younger may fly for free.
All the pilots who are giving rides in their personal planes are locally based in either Glenwood Springs or Rifle, and are donating their time and their aircrafts to the Expo. The Commemorative Air Force also will be giving rides in their J3 Cub, and the helicopter rides will be in a turbine-powered Robinson R66.
The airport also contacted many pilots who own interesting aircraft for an Aircraft Static Display, which is like a car show for airplanes.
“We have everything from a vintage Piper J-3 Cub that was built in 1941 all the way up to a new Kodiak aircraft on floats,” Helm said. “The Colorado Department of Fire Prevention and Control is going to bring a Huey helicopter and an air tanker, and we’ll have the emergency medical helicopter that’s usually based at Valley View.”
All the aircraft in the static display will be parked, so people can walk around them, talk to the owners, and get up close and personal with a lot of different kinds of aircraft.
Pilot Kerek Swanson, who has worked in concert with Helm to create the event, also will be giving rides in his Carbon Cub.
“My airplane is a modern day Cub,” Swanson said. “So you’re going to see the very first Cub that was built and the latest Cub — that’s pretty unique to see.”
The Expo also includes aviation and non-aviation related booths, including two drone businesses, a radio-controlled aircraft business, the Colorado Division of Aeronautics, Majestic Heli Ski and others.
The airport also will highlight its new Young Eagle’s Program, which affords children ages 8–17 the opportunity to learn to fly for free at several scheduled events during the year.
Food vendors will populate the Expo, as well as live music from both Henry Hill in the morning and The Storytellers in the afternoon, and children’s activities will include games, aircraft-related arts and crafts, and a foam machine that simulates walking in a cloud.
The airport suggests that Expo-goers park at Sopris Elementary School and use the complimentary shuttle to the event, although biking and walking also are encouraged. Handicap parking is available at the event.
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In Pitkin County, a camp helps local homeless population through the pandemic. What might a similar program look like in Glenwood Springs?
Glenwood Springs is interested in setting up a camp for the local homeless population to safely congregate during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Pitkin County Human services director Nan Sundeen, the Pitkin County camp costs about $2,000 per month to run.