Hagerstown’s Fire Sparks New Interest
In Town’s Heritage, July 17 Flying Circus
Some of the nation’s most skillful pilots will showcase their flying abilities and rare vintage aircraft at the Hagerstown AirportTuesday, July 17 at the 5th Annual Hagerstown Flying Circus. Gates to the airport will open at 2 p.m. for the free event and the main event will lift off at 6 p.m.
Especially Poignant This Year
“This year’s Flying Circus will be especially poignant because in addition to being entertained by the brave pilots who always amaze us with their skills, we will be honoring our own incredibly brave firefighters and emergency responders who saved Hagerstown last Saturday,” announced Denny Burns, chairman of the event.
“Hagerstown’s emergency responders and those from 10 neighboring towns who saved two major landmarks and our rich automotive history will be honored at6 p.m,” announced Denny Burns, chairman of the event. “Please join us at the airport to show your support and have a great time.
What Can I Do To Help?
“Whenever a major fire occurs in century-old buildings on a town’sMain Street, that community’s heritage is placed in jeopardy. But, this particular fire threatened our town’s signature restaurant and our museum and art center,” Burns explained, adding, “There has been an out-pouring of love forHagerstownsince the fire and everyone asks: ‘What can I do to help?’”
My response is, “Please come to the Hagerstown AirportTuesday, July 17. Come enjoy the Flying Circus, help honor our heroes and celebrate our town’s role in creative culinary, automotive and aviation history.”
The Hagerstown Flying Circus
was launched in 2008 as part of the Ford Model-T Centennial Celebration, when hundreds of Model Ts joined dozens of vintage aircraft at theHagerstownAirport, the longest grass airport in the country. The smooth, soft-landing airport is a favorite among vintage pilots who have returned every year to perform exhibitions while enjoying the airport’s welcoming community and personal conversations with their fans every year.
A Special Fly-Over Of Eastern Indiana
Before the main event, at approximately Noon Tuesday, July 17, a special fly-over of Eastern Indiana will occur as the Wright Model B “Brown Bird” will fly from its base in Miamisburg,Ohio en route to Hagerstown. With ground speeds of 45 to 60 miles per hour, the distinctive aircraft can be followed by the naked eye for long periods of time.
The Wright B Flyer, a replica of the Wright Brothers century-old plane, again will be featured as a major flying exhibition event at6 p.m. And, two of the pilots who were tragically killed in another Wright replica plane just 10 days after last year’s Hagerstown appearance, will be honored in a memorial service during the opening ceremony.
A memorial tribute will be paid to Mitch Cary and Don Gum, pilots who had flown in prior Hagerstown Flying Circuses. Mitch Cary flew the Brown Bird toHagerstowneach of the event’s four years and became well acquainted with the people ofHagerstown.
“Mitch Cary was the reason kids brought their parents back to Hagerstown’s Flying Circus year after year,” said Mary Anne Butters, a volunteer with the event.
“I’ll always remember watching Mitch patiently answer every clumsy question from a 7-year-old boy about the magic of flight. “Using intricate hand maneuvers, Mitch explained lift, speed and flight control, then he hoisted the boy into the seat just like the one where Wilbur sat. Mitch Cary inspired an interest in science for countless children, “she said.
An engraved stone memorial will be dedicated to Mr. Cary and Mr. Gum at the entrance to the Hagerstown Airport during the ceremony.
Free children’s art and competitive games will be provided by the sponsoring Hagerstown Optimist Club throughout the afternoon. Prizes are sponsored by Hagerstown Arts Place, through a grant from Wayne County Foundation.
The Optimists will serve hamburgers, hot dogs and other popular fare, while other vendors will provide tenderloins, homemade ice cream and other favorites.
Additional vendors are welcomed, and will be asked to donate 10 percent of proceeds to the Optimist Youth Programs. Vendors may call (765) 886-5098 for registration.
Vintage cars, including Ford Model Ts that inspired the first Flying Circus in 2008, will be showcased at the Auto Cruise-In on the airport grounds
A free shuttle bus will carry visitors to both sides of the airport, sponsored by Centerstone. Amish visitors are welcomed and will be provided free water for their horses.
The family-friendly event is overdue for ideal weather conditions, but if it is rained out, the rain date is July 18. All who attend are asked to bring their own chairs or blankets as no seating is provided at the airport. Information submitted by Mary Ann Butters