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Wild West Air Fest highlights Labor Day weekend in Steamboat

Four Victor Flight planes fly over the Wild West Air Fest at Steamboat Springs Airport in 2010. This year’s event is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Four Victor Flight planes fly over the Wild West Air Fest at Steamboat Springs Airport in 2010. This year’s event is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Wild West Air Fest schedule

Saturday

9 a.m. Gates open

Noon Tribute to the troops

12:15 p.m. Radio-controlled airplane show

1:30 p.m. Retired Cmdr. Ron Pollard, a long-time Steamboat resident, will present a slide show of his 20 year naval career flying carrier jets around the world, including Vietnam.

Sunday

9 a.m. Gates open

10:30 a.m. Chuck Stout presents “Colorado Aviation History: Interesting Characters and Exploits.”

12:15 p.m. Radio-controlled airplane show

1:30 p.m. Chuck Stout will present “Those Dang Little Airplanes, Menace or Necessity?”

Past Event

Wild West Air Fest

  • Saturday, September 1, 2012, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Steamboat Springs Airport, 3495 Airport Circle, Steamboat Springs
  • Not available / Free - $6

More

— From search and rescue missions and wildlife preservation to crop dusting and power line maintenance, airplanes are an invaluable part of life here in Steamboat Springs according to Chuck Stout, an aviation expert and pilot of 40 years.

And history shows that all of Colorado has a rich aviation history dating back to World War, I when a Sterling-born cowboy named Frederick Libby became America’s first flying ace.

This weekend, Stout will be in Steamboat talking about Colorado’s aviation history and other interesting airplane tales during the eighth annual Wild West Air Fest at Steamboat Springs Airport.

“I think it’s a great way for families to get introduced to aviation,” Stout said about the Wild West Air Fest, which he’s attended in years past. “It’s a great way for the community to recognize the contributions that aviation provides to Steamboat Springs.”

In the heart of local Labor Day weekend festivities, the annual airplane festival takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Steamboat Springs Airport. The cost is $6 for adults and $3 for children, and wristbands are good for both days. Each day, there will be scheduled guest speakers, a radio-controlled airplane show and the chance to explore and maybe even ride in a 1944 Beechcraft D-17S or a Douglas C-47.

“People love it. They come year after year,” said Michelle Krasilinec, a spokeswoman with the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, which puts on the event. “They come Saturday and Sunday. Maybe you’ll end up talking to a pilot this time. You learn something every time you go.”

To Stout, educating Coloradans and visitors about aviation out West is a vital undertaking. He said the family atmosphere of the Wild West Air Fest — including a Wings Over the Rockies Kidspace full of activities and up-close views of vintage airplanes — can help motivate students in math and science education.

“There’s opportunities for people to take airplane rides, to get up close to real-life airplanes and things that even excite people who have been to airports a lot,” Stout said. “There will be airplanes at the Air Fest that will excite even pilots.”

The Wild West Air Fest will be accompanied by a host of other festive activities on the last official weekend of summer.

The town of Oak Creek hosts Labor Day festivities starting Friday and culminating with a parade Monday morning.

There is a sidewalk sale in downtown Steamboat Springs, the Mainstreet Farmers’ Market on Saturday morning and the annual Rocky Mountain Bull Bash professional bull-riding competition Sunday evening.

Also a Labor Day tradition in Steamboat is the Chuck Wagon Chili Challenge at 11 a.m. Sunday.

“I think it will shape up to be quite a nice weekend,” Krasilinec said. “I think the kids know it’s kind of their last chance to have fun and get out with their families with school starting.”

Labor Day weekend events

Friday

9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Come Sale Away Sidewalk Sale, downtown Steamboat Springs

Saturday

7 a.m. Pancake breakfast, Soroco High School in Oak Creek

9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mainstreet Farmers' Market, Sixth Street between Lincoln Avenue and Oak Street

9 a.m. 3 p.m. Wild West Air Fest, Steamboat Springs Airport, $3 to $6

9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Come Sale Away Sidewalk Sale, downtown Steamboat Springs

10 a.m. Cribbage Tournament, Elks Tavern in Oak Creek

10 a.m. Fishing Derby, Decker Park in Oak Creek

10 a.m. Steamboat Springs Stage Race, time trial

Noon Free Family Fun Day, Decker Park in Oak Creek

1 to 5 p.m. Bingo, Oak Creek Fire Station

2 p.m. Hot dog eating contest, Main Street in Oak Creek

2:30 p.m. Cakewalk, Main Street in Oak Creek

3 p.m. Oak Creek Coal Queen and Princess crowning, Main Street in Oak Creek

7 p.m. Comedy show featuring Bob Meddles, Colorado Bar & Grill in Oak Creek, $12

9 p.m. The Wranglers, country music, Colorado Bar & Grill in Oak Creek, $10

Sunday

7 a.m. Pancake breakfast, Soroco High School in Oak Creek

8 a.m. Steamboat Springs Stage Race, Moots Road Race

8 a.m. Softball Tournament, Soroco ball fields in Oak Creek

9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wild West Air Fest, Steamboat Springs Airport, $3 to $6

9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Come Sale Away Sidewalk Sale, downtown Steamboat Springs

10 a.m. Steamboat Running Series: 10K at 10,000 feet

11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Chuck Wagon Chili Challenge, downtown Steamboat Springs on Eighth and Oak streets, free to $10

1 p.m. Live auction at Colorado Bar & Grill in Oak Creek

3 p.m. Ribbon cutting and cookout at Oak Creek’s pump track

5 p.m. Rocky Mountain Bull Bash Pro Bull Riding, Brent Romick Rodeo Arena, $20 to $30

7:30 p.m. Family Movie Night featuring “The Muppets” at Decker Park in Oak Creek

8 p.m. Bartender races, The Oak Restaurant in Oak Creek

Monday

8 a.m. Steamboat Springs Stage Race, Ski & Bike Kare Criterium

9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Come Sale Away Sidewalk Sale, downtown Steamboat Springs

11 a.m. Labor Day Parade in Oak Creek, followed by games and vendors in Decker Park

1 p.m. Volleyball and horseshoes tournaments, Decker Park in Oak Creek

1 to 5 p.m. Bingo, Oak Creek Fire Station

3 p.m. Grease pole competition with cash prize

To add an event to this Labor Day calendar, email happenings@SteamboatToday.com.

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@ExploreSteamboat.com

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