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Steamboat Magazine

Wild West Air Fest celebrates 10th anniversary with new, thrilling aerobatic airshow

08/21/2014 09:40AM ● By Deb Olsen


AUG. 20 – A high-flying airshow, troop tributes and remote-controlled wonder will unfold before your eyes at the Steamboat Springs Airport, where the Wild West Air Fest takes off to roar through the mountain air, August 30 and 31. See wild aerial flying, relics of aviation history and awe-inspiring entertainment for the whole family.


New this year will be the event’s first airshow - a full hour each day of aerobatic excitement featuring high-flying maneuvers from Rocky Mountain Renegades, aerobatic competition champion Don Nelson in his Sukhoi, and famed pilot Dagmar Kress performing in her bright red  Pitts biplane. Kress is a national aerobatic champion and a former member of the German acrobatic flying team.


The event runs 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Steamboat Springs Airport, just minutes north of town. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 6 to 12 and free for children under 5. The airshows will take place at 11:30 a.m. each day.


Don’t miss inspiring presentations from speakers including Nissa Brodman, a Steamboat Springs native and 2005 West Point graduate who flew Blackhawk helicopter medivac extractions in Afghanistan.


In addition, humorous and entertaining pilot Ian Runge will share his perspective on flying his single engine plane over 11,000 miles of ocean in a talk appropriately titled, “You’ve got to be nuts!”


This interactive event is so much more than a spectator’s dream.


For the children, the puppet pilot Wingnut (brought along by ventriloquist and comedian Wayne Francis) will be a hoot and a memory-making highlight.  


Those with an adventurous streak can fly high in a historic plane by reserving your ride on a 1941 Piper J-3 Cub, 1943 Beechcraft C-45J, Long Ranger helicopter or 1945 TBM Avenger. 


And the fun doesn’t end at Steamboat Springs Airport. In downtown Steamboat Springs, the Labor Day Sidewalk Sale offers the best deals on souvenirs and outdoor wear.


Sample Steamboat’s legendary Western hospitality at the Downtown Hoedown and Chuckwagon Chili Challenge on Aug. 31, a chance to taste the authentic local home-cooked comfort food and kick up your heels to live music.


Sunday evening, cowboy up at the Rocky Mountain Bull Bush, a professional bull riding event featuring some of the top cowboys in the world.


For more information on events and festivities over Labor Day Weekend, visit