Photo by Sue Misao

Photo by Sue Misao

BY LAURELLE WALSH

The Twisp Municipal Airport invites the whole community to come and celebrate its 18th annual Twisp Fly-In this Friday and Saturday (July 12-13), with food, airplanes, demonstrations and fundraising for two local organizations.

The event starts with steak dinner in one of the airport’s hangars on Friday from 5:30-8 p.m. Dinner is $15, which includes top-sirloin steak, baked beans, potato salad, green salad and coleslaw, and berry shortcake for dessert. Coffee and lemonade are included. There will also be a no-host beer and wine bar.

Dinner is prepared and hosted by the Twisp Valley Grange, with all proceeds going to the Grange to fund its many projects throughout the year, including breakfast with Santa, the Easter Egg Hunt, the Harvest Dinner and the ongoing upkeep of the Grange Hall, according to dinner coordinator Ronda Bradeen.

Come back to the airport for the traditional pancake breakfast on Saturday from 7-11 a.m. The cost of breakfast is $4 for kids, $7 for adults and $20 for the whole family.

Included on the breakfast menu are pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream, scrambled eggs, ham, coffee and juice. Breakfast will be prepared and served by the Twisp Pilots’ Association with proceeds going back into the airport improvement fund, according to Twisp Airport Manager Bob Howson.

Souvenir hats and T-shirts will also be available for purchase.

Also on Saturday, Howson expects an airport visit from Okanogan County Fire District 6 and Aero Methow Rescue Service to demonstrate their gear and operations, as well as local car collectors displaying their collectible cars. Smokejumpers from North Cascades Smokejumper Base may also do a practice jump at the airport, weather and fire demands permitting, Howson said.

Twisp pilot Bob Hoffman, organizer and founder of the original Fly-In along with “fellow antique” Bob Ulrich, expects visiting pilots to fly in from “all over the place” for the social gathering. Some will even fly in on Friday for dinner, camp out at the airport and stay for breakfast on Saturday, he said.

“Pilots fly in for the $100 pancake,” Hoffman joked, referencing the high cost of aviation fuel these days.

Several antique airplanes will be parked on the tarmac for visitors to view, Hoffman said, including Mike Port’s restored Stearman PT-17 biplane, John O’Keefe’s silver Spartan Executive – one of 34 built in 1937, O’Keefe’s Lockheed Model 10 Electra – like the one flown by Amelia Earhart, and Ross Darling’s Vietnam-era Hughes helicopter.

Fly-In events will be on the north side of the airport this year, so enter from Aviation Lane off Highway 20. Look for the carved granite “Twisp Municipal Airport” sign, Howson said. Signs and volunteers will direct visitors to the parking area.

For more information call Howson at (435) 640-1725.