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Wings and Wheels AirShow Set For September 8

June 29, 2012

The Barnes County Municipal Airport, located one mile north of Valley City, will be the site for the Wings and Wheels AirShow with gates opening at 10 a.m. Sept. 8.

Terry Gortmaker, who runs the “show and shine” portion of the AirShow, said Thursday performers have now been lined up for the event.

Those who’ve agreed to perform are Matt Younkin, Jim “Fang” Maroney, Warren Pietsch, Rex Hammarback, Toby McPherson and the Fargo Skydivers, Gortmaker said.

Air performances are scheduled to begin at 3 pm. The featured performer is Younkin, third-generation pilot and the son of Bobby Younkin, considered to be one the greatest air show performers of all time.

Younkin’s Beech 18 performance is likely one of the most unusual acts on the air show circuit today. The aircraft was never designed for aerobatic flight. The performance begins and ends to light-hearted music that capitalizes on an overly-obese airplane executing maneuvers its designers and air show audience members never conceived possible for a large transport plane. The performance will be two-fold with the last half, “Magic by Moonlight,” done after dark with the air show circuit’s largest, noisiest and smokiest airplane lit up like a Christmas tree.

The night show and fireworks will be held beginning at 9:30 p.m.
Other pilots scheduled to perform include Maroney in his Dehavilland Super Chipmunk, well known longtime Minot, N.D., pilot and air-show performer Pietsch and up close. Pietsch also flies high-energy aerobatics in a home built we call a Schnortenzummer. The acts have a combination of classic and gyroscopic aerobatic maneuvers.

Rounding out the lineup of performers are Rex Hammarback of Grand Forks with his T-28 warbird military trainer, Toby McPherson of Tall Towers Aviation at Page, N.D., in his P51 Mustang and Jarrod Lindemann of North Valley Aircraft in Valley City and the Fargo Skydivers.

In addition to the AirShow performances and displays, the Bridge City Cruisers classic car club will be hosting a Show and Shine at the airport starting at noon. Other events planned are military and aviation related displays, radio-controlled airplane demonstrations, helicopter rides, evening barbecue dinner, dance, fireworks, Sunday morning non-denominational worship service and pancake breakfast. Concessions, beer gardens and a childrens’ play area featuring inflatable games will be available throughout the day.

Gortmaker said for the Show and Shine, cars are not judged, but simply on display for visitors to admire. “We have some pretty unique cars in the area,” and because cars will not be judged, Gortmaker said he expects a large selection to be show. “They don’t have to be in perfect condition – just come and have fun.”

This will be the first Barnes County AirShow in many years, Gortmaker said, adding the last previous one was “in 1984 or 1985.”

This year’s show “is pretty exciting with the response we’ve gotten from performers and volunteers,” he said.

Gortmaker said it takes “hundreds and hundreds of volunteers” to run a show, and that many people have agreed to help. He said the response gives him confidence there will be future shows.

Advance tickets are on sale through Aug. 24 for $12 for ages 13 and up. Children ages 12 and under will be admitted free of charge.

Gortmaker said tickets will also be sold at the door. As an enticement to buy tickets early, Gortmaker said early buyers will get a chance at a one-hour private flight in McPherson’s P51 Mustang. He said McPherson promises to tailor the flight to desires of the winner – either a leisurely tour or or more exciting ride.

Said show co-director Lori Jury, “This is a huge undertaking for our community and county residents, but we are excited and ready for the challenge at our general aviation airport.”

For more information contact show co-director Lori Jury at 701-490-1034, Gortmaker at 701-840-1839 or email bcairport@hotmail.com. Additional information is available on the web at www.barnescountyairport.com or bridgecitycruisers.com. The Wings and Wheels AirShow rain date is Sunday, Sept. 9.

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