Sometime Friday afternoon, Madras will be buzzed by a couple of military jets - loud, fast and intense - a perfect way to start air show weekend.
This year marks somewhat of a new beginning for the Airshow of the Cascades. It has marketed stronger regionally this year than ever before, and new primary sponsors have reinvigorated the program and its organization.
Something more subtle was done this year that may have just as much of a lasting impact on the show. This year, more than ever before, the show has brought many Madras-area nonprofits, service clubs and youth groups into the mix. Instead of many private vendors selling wares at the show, most leaving town with the pilots (and profits), this year's program includes far more local nonprofits behind the selling booths.
That's excellent. Nothing against private vendors at all, but bringing local nonprofits on board is a great idea on several fronts. Obviously (and very importantly) it helps local groups raise a bit of money, but it also help lure friends of families of those groups to the event. Plus, it helps inspire more "buy-in" of the show from a wider segment of the community - a great way to make the air show even more of a signature event for Madras.
For those hitting the air show this weekend, feel even better about spending some entertainment money.
Those weather predictors (always right on, are they not?) are calling for cooler, near perfect weather. If the Waterfall Fire doesn't drape us with thick smoke - and wildfire smoke has besmudged the show in the past - this weekend should be perfect for the air show.
Even after a long run, and in the face of a still-soft economy, the Airshow of the Cascades is managing to reignite itself. The show is a very cool event for a small town to pull off, an event unlike any east of the Cascades.
Long may it fly.