In the beginning of September (so half a century ago according to my blogging schedule) we went to the annual airport festival here in my hometown. Yes my little town has an airport, okay it might be more a very small airfield and not so much of an airport. Only small aircrafts can start and land there so there is no issue of noise complaints ever. I was actually checking out just now what kind of airfield it is but the Germans surely got their own laws and regulations which do not even translate into English so I won’t bother you with that! This airfield was a military airport back in WWII and after the war the airport was reduced in size to give way for a new city district which was built for the thousands of refugees arriving here such as my dad back in the day.
Enough of the history and categorization of this so-called airport and let’s get back to the festival. Though I have lived rather long here already before moving to Finland I had never visited this festival. I do not even know for how long this festival exists already except that it must be going on now for at least 8 years. I know that because back then my parents visited the festival as they have a friend, who is flying a glider, invited them. As this festival was right between the time MIL had left us to return to China and my parents return from their 4 month-long holiday we took this opportunity for some family time. From our home it is only 10 minutes by bicycle to the airport which made it very convenient for us to go there on both festival days. As you can imagine it was a very confusing but also exciting event for a 2 1/2-year-old boy! When he saw the first helicopter flying over our heads he went crazy, not as in crazy as everyday MIL, but happily crazy.
On one side of the airfield were several food stalls and the tents of the different companies offering flights in either helicopters, gliders, gyrocopter, historical planes or different light aircrafts. You could also sign up for some parachute jumping but that is not really my thing as I might have some little fear of heights. Most surprisingly for us was that two of our friends were also at the festival and were just preparing for their parachute jump! I bet that the girl would have not jumped if she would have known back then that she was already in her first month of pregnancy. They also provided tons of entertainment for kids with several amusement rides, jumping castles and also a little track for quad driving (small quads with not so much power). In retrospect the quad driving was probably more intended to give the dads some fun while pretending to take care of their kids sitting in front of them.
The whole festival was very interesting as you could see all kind of different planes and other flying vehicles. They also had the Antonow AN-2 flying around which is the biggest operational single-engine biplane. We had plans to take a little tour with a light aircraft but the waiting list was a bit too much for us with its 2-3 hours of waiting time. So in order to let Nathan enjoy his time there we let him have some rounds in the amusement rides. We had the before-mentioned quad ride for him but he clearly did not really care about as he kind of looked depressed in the pictures.
For us it was a nice experience to go to this airport festival. We learned a few things about the different planes, Nathan had lots of fun, it is nearby and best of all the entrance is for free. Next year we will definitely go again and then we will sign up early enough for a flight in one of the planes!
Have you visited something like an airport festival before?
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