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Excitement builds for the return of EAA AirVenture

Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 7:19 PM CDT
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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - We’re now just two weeks away from the opening night of one of the world’s largest air shows.

EAA AirVenture was virtual last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but this year it’s making a comeback with hundreds of thousands of people expected in Oshkosh.

On the EAA grounds traffic is just starting to pick-up, as many of those arriving early are volunteers.

Mike Digangi of Nevada said, “I think there’s going to be a good crowd. If you look around this is more people than there was at this time a year ago.”

Most events this year at AirVenture will be back, although visitors can expect to see some changes.

This includes a higher degree of sanitizing, and fewer tables in the food area to encourage people to spread out.

Also, the afternoon air show will see some tweaks.

“We’re actually splitting the air show box this year. Some of the lower powered acts will have two performances going on at the same time. One at the north end. One at the south end. So people don’t have to sit right at air show center, they can pick an end, spread out a little bit more, distance a little bit more but still see the action right in front of them,” said EAA Spokesperson Dick Knapinski.

The air show typically draws more than 640,000 people over the course of a week, and this year tickets are projected to be close to that.

Knapinski added, “What we’ve seen in the air show community and aviation event community is there is a bump this year. People are coming back to events in a big way and that is holding true with what we’ve seen with advanced ticket sales so far through the July 4th weekend.”

EAA officials do expect international travel to be down, but they’re not sure by how much. The Canadian border remains closed right now and other countries have restrictions that vary.

Chester Hull says he made the trip from Virginia.

“It’s great to be back actually. I really missed not being able to be here last year. I really expect it to be more full than usual, busier than usual.”

In order to attract more families this year, tickets to get in are also free for anyone 18 and under.

CLICK HERE to get tickets for this year’s EAA AirVenture.

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