Last Friday (Aug 19th) was National Aviation Day and the 140th anniversary of Orville Wright's birthday. To celebrate, ESAM planned a big family day event! It was my first time planning an event at the museum, so there was a pretty steep learning curve but everybody pitched in, said tons of prayers and then celebrated when the proved to be a smashing success!
This is a vintage WWII tent that a fantastic group of re-enactors brought - they brought their truck too! It's apparently (and logically) called a "half-track". It was quite funny to see such a hard core vehicle crawling down the main thorough-fare with all the regular cars and then catch a glimpse of the NYS plate tacked to the back. Lol.
The group did an Army Air Corps (early Air Force) bombing run briefing that visitors were allowed to sit in on. I wasn't able to make it, but I heard it was awesome!
They also brought a bunch of vintage training models and front lines maps, decoding books, etc. My favorite was a spinning spice-rack style holder with a series of stamps saying "secret", "top secret" and "classified" - how fun would it be to have one of those in your office?!
Dinosaur BBQ (relatively new to Albany) attended, offering up pulled pork sandwiches, beans, coleslaw and drinks. Absolutely delicious, as always! As a Rochester native, long acquainted with Dinosaur, I was delighted to introduce my Albany friends to them.
Out in the Air Park, the restoration team cracked open the cockpits of our Huey (Bell UH-1 Iroquois Helicopter), our F-5 and the A-7. Kids and adults alike had a blast climbing into real, decommissioned planes and getting their pictures taken.
We gave rides in the museum's parade plane, too, which was drastically more popular than I anticipated.
A friend from a local day care center made a bunch of aviation-themed kids' crafts and did them in the kids' tent alongside stick rockets. My favorite was this super-simple but adorable candy plane.
I am so thankful that everything came together!
(ESAM's resident photographer took a bunch more pictures of the event (tours, presentations, flight simulator, etc) - if you'd like to see them you can check out the facebook page. )