Budweiser Airshow of the Cascades
The Airshow of the Cascades will open its 2012 event with rides, aerobatics, dinner and a fireworks extravaganza on Friday night at the Madras Municipal Airport.
Organizers, who have secured Anheuser-Busch -- the maker of Budweiser beer -- as the title sponsor for the two-day event, are confident that this year's show will be the best ever.
Gates open at 4 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 24, but two F-15 fighter jets are scheduled to fly over Madras sometime around 1:30 and 2 p.m. on Friday.
"We're hoping they'll do a couple flybys," said Rick Allen, treasurer for the event, noting that the jets will be flying out of Klamath Falls Kingsley Field. "You have to have your camera set and ready."
As part of Budweiser's "Here's to Our Heroes" campaign, veterans will get into the event at no cost. Tickets are $8 at the gate, and children 12 and under enter at no cost.
This year, Living Hope Christian Center will be operating the gate, the Madras Elks will run the beer garden and put on the Aviators' Breakfast from 8-10 a.m. Saturday morning, and other local organizations will participate in fundraising events.
"This is another key strategy to growing the show and making sure it's a relevant event to all aspects of the community," said Allen. "The potential for all kinds of groups to make the air show part of their big fundraising events is huge."
Besides the F-15 flyovers, Tom Brown, air show chairman, is excited about other acts and aircraft that will be on display.
"We're going to have the Chinook CH-47 -- the big twin-rotor helicopter," he said. "It will be here on display from the Pendleton Oregon National Guard."
The public will be able to visit with the pilot and crew of a Black Hawk helicopter from Salem National Guard and a Chinook twin-engine helicopter from the Pendleton guard base.
Returning performers, including Renny Price with his Sukhoi-29 and Bud Granley with his T-6 Harvard plane, will be joined by newcomers, such as Super Dave Mathieson in his MX2, and Vicky Benzing in her Extra 300.
Brown expects to see about 15 booths for food and other vendors at the air show. Music will include the Lisa Dae and Robert Lee Trio for two shows on Friday evening, and acts such as Rachelle Cooke and The Ocean Floor on Saturday.
"Air shows have remained in the down economy because they're a family event," said Allen.
Volunteers are still needed to assist at the gate. Call Living Hope Christian Center at 541-475-2405, or the airport at 541-475-6947 to volunteer in other areas.
Temperatures are forecast to be in the upper 70s and low 80s, "So we're pretty excited," said Allen. "It's perfect to be out at the airport. We tell people to bring a blanket and a chair. They can rent them from a church group, but they sold out last year."