OTTUMWA — Attendance at August’s Fly Iowa was more than twice what organizers had hoped. For that reason, Pam Kaupins, Archangel Flying Service’s Audrey Keck and media specialist Isaac Campbell are heading up Fly Ottumwa, an airshow they hope will be just as successful.
“The city, Archangel and the Fly Iowa committee have made a decision that we will have an annual event,” Kaupins said at a press conference Thursday. Fly Ottumwa 2018 is scheduled for Friday through Sunday, Aug. 24-26.
“Ottumwa has a rich tradition and history in aviation. It’s part of the fabric of our community,” said Ottumwa Mayor Tom Lazio at a press conference yesterday. “Comments from our visiting pilots, our airboss Scott Duck, and our announcer Danny Clisom, all people who travel around the country, said this is one of the best airshows they’ve ever been at.”
Kaupins said sponsors were happy that it was a family event. People of all ages enjoyed the airshow, the planes on display and the supporting activities. “That’s what we’re going to focus on,” she said.
“We did have a debriefing,” Lazio said, “and we’ve made some changes already.” Issues with parking, shuttles and access for people with disabilities are being addressed for 2018.
Fly Ottumwa is working on contracts for some performers already, Kaupins said. Sponsors and volunteers are being recruited.
Fly Ottumwa has launched a website and will do most of its promotion online through the website and Facebook, Campbell said. At www.flyottumwa.com people can subscribe to the organization’s newsletter and request sponsorship information.
Lazio said the website will eventually have a photo page where people who attended can share their photos from the event.
Fly Ottumwa presented the city one of the sculptures which Lazio said will be displayed at city hall.
For those who took part in the scavenger hunt and didn’t find all of the sculptures before Fly Iowa, a list there locations will be posted on Fly Ottumwa’s Facebook page.
Reporter Winona Whitaker can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @courierwinona.