Early arrivals set up for EAA AirVenture

Volunteers prepare for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh
Volunteers prepare for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh
Published: Jul. 17, 2023 at 5:06 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 17, 2023 at 6:14 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - The countdown is on for the start of EAA AirVenture, now just one week away. The excitement is building, with several attendees arriving early, from all over the world to stake out their spot.

A decent number of people have already arrived and by this weekend, the grounds behind me will be packed with r-v’s, campers, and airplanes ahead of next Monday’s opening day.

It’s the type of event many say can’t start soon enough.

“We just love it here. We’re all about airplanes. This is the best time of the year,” said Bob Costello, from Huntsville, Alabama.

Last year AirVenture sold around 650 thousand tickets, up 7 percent over the previous year, and setting a record. If the weather stays nice, Spokesperson Dick Knapinski expects similar results, next week.

“Last year we had seven perfect days of weather. We will probably never get that in summer in Wisconsin ever again. So, we will have to take what we have but we’re looking at a very strong crowd this year both from local areas and those flying in from around the country,” said Knapinski.

With overseas travel bouncing back since the pandemic, the number of international visitors is also expected to increase with at least 90 countries being represented this year and a group from South Africa already on the grounds.

“I always enjoy watching this little city grow up. I mean we got here a couple of days ago and watch from virtually no one in here and you got to get here early to get good spots, to see it fill up to an unbelievable amount of campers and people over the week. It’s fun. I just enjoy it,” said David Ausloos, from Franklin.

When asked what he was most excited about for next week, Costello replied: “Airplanes, yes when the airplanes start arriving and the jets are doing their pass overs, and the honor flights go over in the evenings it’s just so much excitement to me.”

Local businesses are also excited about the return of AirVenture, as it has an estimated economic impact of $170 million on a five-county area surrounding the grounds.