Warbird Weekend :: Celebrating BLI’s birthday & Father’s Day
3rd weekend in June
It’s 1936, and here in one of the last out-posts before the Canadian border, in the far northwest corner of Washington State, The Great Depression has hit hard. Works Progress Administration projects employ small numbers of men, but times are tough. Yet by October of the same year, a new project is on the horizon… an airport to permanently replace the smaller, make-shift landing fields that have been around since the early 1920′s. An airport that United Airlines would like as a Port of Entry for their flights from Vancouver to Seattle and locations further south… An airport that the Army Air Corps see’s as being strategically placed as war looms on the horizon…
Bellingham’s well-known Larabee family sells 200 acres at the present airport location to Whatcom County, and the State Grant-in-Aid requests start flowing to Olympia. Three runways are planned, but it takes almost four years to get the first 5000′ x 150′ runway cleared and paved. Temporary Port of Entry status is secured early, but the slow construction leaves it in a continually tenuous state – United Airlines will only base there if the field is safe enough for their DC-3′s, and it maintains its Port of Entry status. Ultimately they build a beautiful terminal, designed by F. Stanley Piper, and the airport is dedicated in 1940, having employed more than 500 people ‘on relief’…
1 June 2010 marked the 70th anniversary of the dedication of the Bellingham airport and thus presented the Heritage Flight Museum with the unique opportunity to bring the community’s aviation history to light. Our hope is to continue to recreate Bellingham’s post-WWII aviation events that showcased the commercial, civilian and military aircraft of the time. Warbird owners and operators from the greater Puget Sound area show their support for HFM by bringing their aircraft, at their own expense, to this special event. **UPDATE for 2013: Warbird Weekend is moving back to Father’s Day weekend!**
As with all of our other events, it takes a lot of energy and funds to make things happen. Our biggest needs for this event include: cash donations, advertising funds, auction items, food & beverages for volunteers, port-a-potties. If you, your company, your neighborhood, Boy/Girl Scout troop, Veteran’s association, etc are interested in sponsoring, please contact us: 360.733.4422 or email@example.com.
- A big thank you to all of the local businesses that donated items for our 2011 & 2012 auction!
- Thanks to Dave & Mary Lynne Courtney for sponsoring this event in 2009, 2010 and 2011!
Saturday – Greatest Generation Dinner/Dance
- Date: 15 June – 3rd Saturday in June **Updated for 2013!**
- Time: 5:30pm-9:30pm (no-host bar, dinner, silent auction, live music & dancing)
- PLEASE NOTE: HFM will be closed during our regular Saturday, 12-4pm hours for event set-up!
- Live music & dancing throughout the night:
- The Pakawalups from 6:00-6:45pm
- Skagit Swings from 7:30pm-9:15pm – An 18 piece Big Band under the direction of Ray Blank and featuring Vocalist Charyl Sager playing the music from the Greatest Generation & Big Band era; Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and the vocals of Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat “King” Cole, Tony Bennett and others.
- Whatcom Swing and Bellingham Dance Company members will be ‘seeding’ the dance floor with all the moves of the era!
- Tickets: $50/person, available online through Eventbrite, click here.
- Attire: Ranging from the late-30′s to the present… WWII is always the most popular!
Thanks to our past sponsors and supporters:
- 2012 Auction Items included:
- Two round trip tickets on any domestic Alaska Airlines flight
- Two days, one night in a Gold Tower deluxe guest room at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, plus two tickets to see Gordie Brown
- Four one-day Park Hopper passes to Disneyland‘s Anaheim Park
- $100 Gift Certificate to Dirty Dan Harris’ Restaurant
- Two, knit women’s pullovers by New York designer Helmut Lang
- Two VIP Paramount Club Seats to see Yanni, live in concert, on Saturday, Aug 4 at the Seattle Theatre Group’s Paramount Theatre. Includes access to the Paramount Club lounge before, during and after the show, personal bartenders, complimentary hors d’oeuvres, private restroom and coat check.
- Photos from the 2012 Greatest Generation Dinner-Auction are now available! Click here to order your favorites!
- Photos from 2011 Greatest Generation Dinner are now available! Click here to order your favorites!
- 2012 Master of Ceremonies: local radio host, realtor & newly-minted auctioneer, Mike Kent
Sunday – Warbird Weekend Pancake Breakfast & Fly Day
- Date: Father’s Day!! **Updated for 2013**
- EAA-sponsored Pancake Breakfast: 9am-12pm
- Fly Day: 10am-4pm
- Pancake Breakfast: $8/person. Tickets available on Eventbrite, click here.
- Fly Day: $5 minimum donation/person requested. General Admission tickets, not including breakfast, available on Eventbrite.
- Location: Heritage Flight Museum ramp @ Bellingham Airport. Click here for a map.
- Food: Our friends StrEAT Food have added a day to their regular schedule to come feed the masses! Food and airplanes go together like mac and cheese! They’ll be here serving from 11:30am-2:30pm
- Parking: Handicap only & drop off in the small HFM lot, free parking on the grass at NE corner of Mitchell Way & Bakerview, $1/hour in any of the Port’s airport parking lots (first 30 minutes free)
- Visiting Aircraft in 2012: Flying Heritage Collection Spitfire, Historic Flight Foundation Spitfire, two 1940′s Navion’s, 1947 Republic SeeBee, Cessna 140, Fairchild 124, FW 149, two SNJ’s…
What to Expect
- Just like our regular, monthly fly day this is a chance to get up close to some of the aircraft of the WWII, Korea and Viet Nam era’s. We have asked some of our warbird-flying friends to join us for this event, so there will be other aircraft on flying and static display as well.
- There will be flights conducted throughout the day, some solo and some formation. These flights will be conducted in accordance with all of the standard flight rules at the airport – which means that there will be no special aerobatic displays or restricted air space. Our pilots always fly under the direction of the air traffic controllers and fit their passes into the general and commercial traffic here at Bellingham International.
- Visitors are welcome to bring their own picnic lunches; garbage receptacles will be available for what doesn’t get eaten!
- Please leave your pets at home or in a well-ventilated vehicle… Service animals excepted.
- There is likely to be a lot of aircraft movement during the day, so please follow the instructions of our volunteer ramp crew… they are there to guard everyone’s safety!
- Bring your cameras and your questions! Photograph your favorite airplane… have a picture taken with the pilot… talk to Veteran’s about their experiences. This is a great opportunity to see living history! We hope you enjoy your visit with us!