Allyson Oken/Paso Robles Press
One of the planes that will be available for free rides at the Paso AirFest, courtesy of
the Young Eagles.
PASO ROBLES — The engine starts to roar, heart leaping with elation, the ground falls away, into the sky planes soar at the inaugural Paso Robles AirFest, hosted at the Paso Robles Municipal Airport Friday, Sept. 30, and Saturday, Oct. 1.
The two-day event will kick off with “The Party” on Friday and culminate Saturday at Airport Appreciation Day. Chair man of AirFest 2016 and local amateur pilot, Tony Gaspar, said the event is meant to showcase the Paso Robles Municipal Airport, its facilities and the wide array of planes housed in its hangers.
“We are very excited to be hosting AirFest for the first time to showcase the Paso Robles Municipal Airport,” Gaspar said. “The idea is to show our locals all that the Airport has to offer and share the diverse range of aircraft housed in its hangers as well as engage young and old to get them interested in flying aircraft.”
AirFest will open in style at “The Party,” hosted in the main airport hanger from 5 to 10 p.m. for the cost of $25 per person. The event will feature planes, live music, food, wine and Firestone Walker beer ($5 per cup). Gaspar said the proceeds for this event will benefit the Wounded Warriors program, which rehabilitates war veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other debilitating issues.
Tickets are available at the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce and will sell out fast.
Airport Appreciation Day
AirFest’s main event, Airport Appreciation Day, will open for free with a $5 parking donation and feature “Run the Runways,” aircraft displays, entertainment and activities for the entire family and aircraft aficionados of all ages. The event begins with “Run the Runways,” held from 7 to 9 a.m., and includes 10K, 5K and beginner categories for youth, military and senior participation in a special running event. For more information, go to pasoroblesairfest.com and click “Register to Run.” A Pancake= Breakfast will follow from 9 to 11 a.m. near the Airport Terminal Building. Breakfast is free for participants and $5 for non-participants.
AirFest gates will open at 8 a.m. for the Airport Appreciation Day celebration with a noon parachute delivery of the American Flag, Paso Robles Marching Band, National Anthem and Mayor Steve Martin’s speech officially opening Paso Robles AirFest.
The event will showcase historic and modern aircraft displays that include military and private planes from restored antiques to modern jets, racers and remote control models. Enjoy aerial demonstrations by the Cloud Clippers, a Kid Zone and BBQ lunch. Tour the Airport and talk with pilots about their
aircraft. Free airplane rides for ages 8 to 17 will be provided by the Young Eagles, sponsored by Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 465 and led by David Fretwell.
Help local veterans soar by taking a ride on a B-25 “Executive Suite,” available at $475 a seat for a 30-minute flight. For every five seats sold, the sixth seat is free for a veteran. The event will close at 3 p.m.
Gaspar said AirFest is on a five-year schedule to expand as an event by inviting pilots in and around San Luis Obispo County to fly in and share their planes with the public.
“Our hope is to see Paso Robles Air- Fest grow and plan to accommodate pilots for fly-ins to our airport at the event,” he said. “We want to have 500 pilots on our fifth year fly-in and really give people a show. This is not an air show in the conventional sense, but an event where people can come and explore the airfield, enjoy the rare experience of walking through airport hangers and on runways that people are not normally purview to and catch the flying bug!”
The Paso Robles Municipal Airport is at 4912 Wing Way in Paso Robles. For more information, visit Paso Robles AirFest website pasoroblesairfest.com.
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