Winslow’s 2017 High Desert Fly-In opens with gala, dinner and music

A plane outside the Winslow-Lindbergh Regional Airport’s historic hangar during the 2016 Fly-In. Submitted photo

A plane outside the Winslow-Lindbergh Regional Airport’s historic hangar during the 2016 Fly-In. Submitted photo

WINSLOW, Ariz. — The 2017 High-Desert Fly-In takea place at the Winslow-Lindbergh Regional Airport, 701 Airport Road, Sept. 16, from 7 a.m. to noon.

Admission is free and residents, tourists and pilots are invited to Winslow’s historic airport to enjoy airplanes, history, food and more.

Once again, the High Desert Fly-In committee will kick off this year’s event with the Fly Back in Time Gala in the airport’s historic hangar Sept. 15, the evening before the Fly-In. Gala tickets are available for $25 at the Winslow Visitors Center and from a link on the High Desert Fly-In Website. (Please purchase your tickets by Sept. 11 — no ticket sales after this date or at the door.)

Parking for the Gala is free on the tarmac behind the hangar. Doors will open at 6:15 p.m., when guests will enter the hangar —decorated by the Winslow Public Library — and be greeted and given door-prize tickets by members of the Helldorado Girls, a nonprofit women’s group.

Gala attendees are invited to travel back in time by dressing in period attire and trying for a prize in the Vintage Threads Contest, and by listening and dancing to the nostalgic sounds of the Big Band Connection from Flagstaff. Since the early 1990s, some of northern Arizona’s most outstanding musicians have entertained audiences with swing and jazz classics made famous by band leaders such as Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Harry James and Glenn Miller.

A catered buffet dinner will be served at 7 p.m. and the band will perform until 9 p.m. Guests can help themselves to free retro candy at the Candy Terminal provided by the Winslow Chamber of Commerce. They can also bid in the High Desert Silent Auction on items donated by local businesses and individuals. The auction will close the next morning at 11 a.m., during the Fly-In.

The next morning, attendees can take a shuttle from the free parking along Airport Road to the free High Desert Fly-In. The Winslow Rotary Club will host a pancake breakfast from 7 to 9 a.m. for $6 per person. High Desert Fly-In polo shirts and 2016 historical airport calendars will also be for sale.

Attendees will be allowed on the tarmac to view the visiting aircraft, which will include general aviation planes and medical transport aircraft owned by Guardian Air and Aerocare. The Just Cruis’n Car Club will host a Show-and-Shine of vintage automobiles, including the 1940 Seagraves fire truck owned by the Winslow Historical Society. The airport will also offer First Flights, complimentary plane rides that introduce youngsters to aviation; a parental release will be required. And join us at 9 a.m. for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for new Runway 4-22.

Inside the historic hangar, the Flying Fun Kids Area will include several hands-on activities provided by the Winslow Public Library plus information on library programming for kids. There will also be a telescope from the Winslow-Homolovi Observatory and an interactive World Travel Map where kids of all ages can pin their favorite travel destinations.

The Flying Through History Area will include the Old Trails Museum’s Flying through History: The Winslow-Lindbergh Regional Airport exhibit and The Swamp Ghost and World War II exhibit. Historian Erik Berg will talk with attendees about his artifacts and writings on aviation in the Southwest, and former Civil Air Patrol instructor Dale Mansfield will talk about his display of World War I aircraft models.

The High Desert Silent Auction will continue from 7 to 11 a.m., when the bidding will close and bidders can take their items with them. For pilots, there will be discounted fuel available during Fly-In hours, as well as an FAA Safety Seminar presented by Fred Gibbs at 10 a.m. The link to register is on the High Desert Fly-In website.

More information is available on Facebook, or by going to High Desert Fly-In website at www.highdesertflyin.org for the latest details on all the happenings and where Venuti Film’s video of the 2016 Fly Back in Time Gala is shown.

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