Head into Hagerstown for a soaring good time
Imagine a 4,000-foot runway, long enough to accommodate a commercial jet.
Now imagine that runway made entirely of grass – a smooth stretch of green covering nearly a mile of flat landscape.
Populate the scene with pilots showing off their aircraft to kids and adults, answering questions and exchanging stories. Watch some of those kids and adults climb into an open-cockpit bi-plane for a ride, while others on the ground cheer takeoffs and landings. Smell a whole variety of yummy treats.
Now add yourself to the picture.
It’s not just a daydream. On July 18, you can be part of the action at the Hagerstown Flying Circus in Hagerstown, Ind.
The Flying Circus is the main annual fundraiser for the Hagerstown Optimist Club, which will be selling enough food to put together a meal to satisfy anyone. Other vendors will be on hand with ice cream, kettle corn, cotton candy and more.
Event chair and Optimist Denny Burns expects pilots to be flying in from Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Maryland, North Carolina and Arkansas – as well as from around Indiana.
The food and rides come with a price tag, but admission to the circus is free.
That even covers the evening flying competitions beginning at 6 p.m., including precision landing and “flour bombing” of painted targets from high altitudes.
Rain date for the event is July 19.
What better place to land than Hagerstown? The Optimist Club loved the idea and ran with it. They’ve had a Flying Circus every year since.
King is fond of Hagerstown Airport, which feels to him like a step into the past. “It could be 1930,” he said. Pilots, he said, like Indiana’s rich aviation history. In fact, the Wilbur Wright Birthplace & Museum (http://www.wwbirthplace.com/) is just a few miles west of Hagerstown.
King recommends the Flying Circus to history buffs of any kind.
“There’ll be a lot of history there,” he said. “Interesting planes. Interesting people.”
One thing King likes about Hagerstown is that it’s possible to walk into town from the airport. That’s convenient for visitors, too, but it can cause some difficulties.
The entrance can get pretty crowded, especially between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Burns encourages visitors to arrive as early as possible and – if they must leave early – to avoid doing so during that hour.
It also would be a good idea to check the Indiana Department of Transportation’s Traffic Wise website (pws.trafficwise.org) for up-to-the-minute information about the many road construction projects happening in and around Hagerstown this summer. The airport will be accessible, but you might need to take a detour or two to get there.
For more information and updates, like the Hagerstown Flying Circus page on Facebook.
Blog Written by: Louise Ronald