The 6th annual military history show will take place on Saturday, Oct. 23 at the Henderson-Oxford Airport in Granville County. And coordinator Harry Coombs says it’s on track to be even bigger and better than last year, when the event netted $1,700 to benefit the local veteran’s affairs committee.
“I expect the crowds to be pretty large,” Coombs told John C. Rose on Tuesday’s Town Talk segment. The free outside event may have ebbs and flows between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., but there will be plenty for folks to see and do all day long, Coombs said.
The helicopter rides were a big hit last year, and plans are to have two choppers on hand to accommodate the crowd and keep lines short. Tickets for the helicopter ride are $40 a person, up a bit from last year’s price to offset rising fuel prices.
There are more than 70 items that are part of a silent auction, and Coombs said there is a Facebook page that has some images of the items, which range from home and garden items to a military uniform and other patriotic items. Local veteran Mike Scott has donated some handcrafted wood burnings that will be among the auction items.
The silent auction will close bids at 2 p.m. and then winners will be announced, he added.
Coombs said he has been involved in similar events before, and decided to start one himself when trying to come up with an idea that would benefit the veterans in the area. “I just wanted to do something to give back to the community in some way,” he said, adding that the airport venue was available for the first event, so he decided to stage it there.
There’s a chance that a military-colored Stearman biplane once used for military training may make an appearance, he said.
All types of military equipment will be on display, from World War I and II, and military re-enactors from the Carolinas and Virginia will be on hand representing military service from as far back as the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, he said.
Some of the re-enactors are military veterans, Coombs said, and others became interested because they had family members who served and they like to research and find out information about the military.
Coombs said the re-enactors won’t just be representing the U.S. military, but said German, British and Russian soldiers will be included in this year’s event. Although most of the uniforms are reproductions, other items that will be on display have come from various places – from the Internet and estate sales to donations from veterans themselves who brought souvenirs home when the war was over.
The airport is located at 6514 Airport Road, Oxford, NC 27565.
To learn more or to volunteer for Saturday’s event, contact Coombs via phone call or text at 919.691.7697.