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Flying again: Moses Lake Airshow to return in June

by CHARLES H. FEATHERSTONE
Staff Writer | February 18, 2021 1:00 AM

MOSES LAKE — There will be a Moses Lake Airshow this year.

The event, which was first held in June 2019 and canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, will be from June 17 through June 19 at the Grant County International Airport.

According to event organizer Terry Quick, this year’s air show will feature several military acts, including a series of demonstration flights by an A-10 Thunderbolt II attack plane, a two-plane EA-18G Growler team, the U.S. Army “Black Daggers” special operations parachute team, and just-approved flyby from an unspecified Air Force airplane.

“We’ll see what that turns into in the next day or two,” said Airport Director Rich Mueller.

In addition, the first day of the show likely will feature an attempt by local motorcycle stunt rider Alex Harvill to set a Guiness Book of World Records jump of more than 400 feet.

Quick said he expects attendance for the event will reach 18,000 — 2,000 for the motorcycle jump alone.

“It could be higher because of pent up interest and cabin fever,” he said. “This will be the first big full-on event of the year.”

Quick said attendees of this year’s air show will actually drive on to the airfield and park on a portion of the GCIA’s secondary runway, allowing families to “tailgate” in socially-distanced parking bubbles. About 2,000 vehicles will fit on the runway, Quick said.

However, Quick said air show organizers are hoping to get approval from the state for some wandering around, including static aircraft displays, a car show, and food vendors, as long as there are COVID-19 protocols in place.

“Other stuff may not happen unless we get a blessing from the state for a hybrid air show,” he said.

Right now, Quick said the biggest hurdles are a need for volunteers — especially people willing and able to lead and organize things — and a lack of funding.

Currently, the air show has raised around $110,000 of a needed $432,000, and sponsorships are down significantly because of the ongoing economic effects of the pandemic-related closures, Quick said.

With the decision by organizers at Fairchild Air Force Base to postpone 2021’s Inland Northwest Skyfest, Quick said several acts have asked if there would be an opportunity to perform in Moses Lake.

“There’s no money to pay them yet,” he said.

Quick also said he has big dreams for the air show, and hopes to make it the kind of draw the AirVenture air show is for Oshkosh, which in 2019 drew more than 640,000 visitors into a city of 67,000 for the 10-day event.

If you want more information on this year’s air show, or are interested in volunteering, visit the Moses Lake Airshow’s website at www.moseslakeairshow.com.

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at cfeatherstone@columbiabasinherald.com.