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Troutdale airport to host summer air show

The Troutdale Airport will return to its roots this summer with an air show to showcase vintage aircraft in a communitywide event that organizers hope will turn into an annual affair.

The July 28 show will include 50 aircraft, along with 250 vintage cars and 30 vendor booths for participating cities and merchants.

Chris Sharp, the owner of the Avis outlet at the airport who is spearheading the event, said organizers want to create a fun, fair-like environment.

Bringing together the communities of Troutdale, Fairview, Wood Village, Cascade Locks and Springdale for an event 'has never been tried before,' he said.

'There's some really good things that can be done, and it really is a community thing,' Sharp said.

Beth Nance is event coordinator at the West Columbia Gorge Chamber of Commerce, which is sponsoring the air show.

'It just brings a lot of tourism and marketing to Troutdale,' she said. It will be a great event for families, she added.

The event has the blessing of all five towns, the Port of Portland, which runs the Troutdale Airport, and the Oregon Pilots' Association, said Sharp, a member of the chamber's board of directors.

'Politically, it's a strong group,' he said.

Organizers also had to notify the Federal Aviation Administration because of the close proximity to Portland International Airport.

A planning committee is being formed, and volunteer groups are still being sought. Those interested in offering their services can call the chamber at 503-669-7473.

Some 5,000 T-shirts will be made for the air show, which will be free for children, $5 for adults. If the event is successful, another similar event may be held a month or so later. Organizers will also try to tie in some component of Troutdale's centennial celebration this summer.

Sharp said the air show is 'going to be bigger than us.

'It serves a bigger purpose to unite the five cities around us,' he said. 'We are the gorge.'

If you go

What: West Columbia Gorge Air Fair, presented by the West Columbia Gorge Chamber of Commerce.

When: Saturday, July 28.

Where: Troutdale Airport.

More information: Call the chamber at 503-669-7473.