officially open new main gate, arch By Kristy Hemp, EAA AirVenture Today
July 26, 2009 - Oshkosh, Wisconsin
- "There's no better way to welcome
you to the home of general aviation." With those words, EAA President
Tom Poberezny began the dedication ceremony this afternoon of the new Main
Gate that includes two Pratt and Whitney 1830 engine-and-propeller
sculptures. Unbeknownst to the crowd, and just seconds after Poberezny's
introduction, a formation of 37 RVs flew over the main gate. Dave Klages,
a visionary behind the Main Gate design, was a part of the formation and
arrived at Oshkosh in a symbolic way, over his completed vision.
"This entrance is the start of a
journey to keep Oshkosh the premier aviation event in the world."
Poberezny said. "When designing the entrance, maintaining the culture
but still keeping it fresh and modern was kept in mind." EAA member
Keith Kocourek was recognized for donating the construction services and
architect Wally Binder for his sculpture designs.
Photo by Jim
Keith Kocourek, left, and Wally Binder cut the ribbon at the
dedication of the new main gate at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009.
Photo by Hilary
Karen and Ray Gebhart met at the Legacy Brown Arch for the first
time at AirVenture in 1991. They purchased a brick to commemorate
that chance meeting.
Photo by Hilary
A crowd gathers for the dedication of the Legacy Brown Arch Sunday
Poberezny also recognized EAA director Vic
Abbey's leadership in heading up the site plan task force, and thanked EAA
Facilities Manager Steve Taylor for bringing the site plan enhancements to
Two new roads that are part of the site
plan enhancements this year were also dedicated at the ceremony. Mulva
Drive and James Ray Drive originate at the Main Gate and fan diagonally
across the grounds in opposite directions. They honor James Mulva and
James Ray who have contributed greatly to EAA through supporting programs
that will help build the future of aviation.
Poberezny invited Binder and Kocourek to
cut the ribbon and officially open EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009.
Immediately following the Main Gate
dedication, the crowd moved on to the dedication of the Brown Arch, the
original and traditional entry to the Oshkosh flightline. "Millions
of people have walked under this arch to discover the innovation,
imagination, and craftsmanship within the thousands of airplanes that have
been a part of the "Oshkosh Experience," Poberezny said.
"The Brown Arch was born in 1971, and
the grounds stretched 400 feet south, 500 feet north, and camping was
about 300 yards away." Poberezny explained candidly about how far the
event has come as the crowd chuckled. "Oshkosh is becoming a global
event." Poberezny said repeating and emphasizing his words from the
earlier dedication. "There's no event like Oshkosh, and the culture
and spirit needs to be maintained. It's the home of innovation and the
home of the spirit that's in us."
Binder, Kocourek and Taylor were again
recognized for their support of making the Brown Arch a reality along with
Wausau Tile. Dave Zenk, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, described the NOAA marker in the center of the legacy
area, which measures the distance to Kitty Hawk, the location of the
Wright Brothers' historical flight.
"This legacy area will be here as long
as Oshkosh is here," Poberezny said. "I hope the phrase 'Meet me
at the Brown Arch' will mean something to you and be a gathering point at
If would like to purchase a brick and leave
your mark at the Brown Arch, visit the Brown Arch tent or the EAA Welcome
Poberezny dedicated both entrances to the
four Ps of EAA, "Planes - that bring us together; people--the real
reason why we come; passion--our love of flight; and participation - our
ability to be involved."
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