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Organizer invites all to help create an epic air show

ROCK FALLS – Here's a rare opportunity to get involved in creating a unique and memorable hometown event, and all it takes is a few hours of your time:

A meeting to gauge community support for a large new aviation event at the Whiteside County Airport will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday at the airport, 10950 Hoover Road.

Nine years ago, 26 DC-3s and C-47s flew in to the Whiteside County Airport to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Douglas DC-3. The event drew thousands.

One of the organizers, 1979 Sterling High graduate and now Atlanta pilot and instructor Dan Gryder, is hoping to create another, larger, more diverse aviation show next year.

To do so, he needs to know that local businesses, clubs, organizations, vendors and volunteers will be ready once again to step up to the plate.

He's holding the one-time meeting Saturday, the only time he will have to see everyone in person, hear their ideas, answer questions and gather contact into, Gryder said.

If the interest is there, he plans to have about 50 aircraft, including DC-3/C-47s, B-25s, B-17s, T-28s, T-6s, and F4-Us, as well as vendors and other activities at the show.

The last event succeeded "because of the excellent local support," he said.

Airport board members also are interested in hearing what Gryder has in mind, airport manager Darin Heffelfinger indicated in an email to SVM.

"We hope with your article, and with us reaching to  the community leaders, we will have an idea whether or not there is enough community support to hold this type of event," Heffelfinger wrote in a email to SVM.

Coffee and donuts will be provided.

To comment

Can't make Saturday's meeting? Comments and questions can be sent to organizer Dan Gryder at or to airport manager Darin Heffelfinger at

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