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The Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome Celebrates Sixty Years
The weather was no match for the Diamond Jubilee Celebration at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome on Saturday May 19. While a day-long program of music, flying, biplane rides, tours and guest speakers was washed out by rain, Mother Nature had no impact on the enthusiasm and generosity of approximately 120 guests who attended the third annual “Spirit of the Aerodrome” gala and fundraiser. Now in its sixtieth year as America’s premiere “living” museum of early aviation history, the gala set records this year for corporate sponsorships and event supporters and awarded the very first Spirit of the Aerodrome Scholarship to a local High School student.
The evening started promptly at six and was held in the beautifully adorned and spacious hanger on the far side of the runway. Early arrivals were treated to hors d’oeuvres of local fare and enjoyed the events signature cocktail; The Baron’s Jubilee. This drink was inspired by the famous Black Baron of Rhinebeck who is the villain-in-residence during the Aerodrome’s famous Sunday airshows. The guests bid on fabulous auction items such as airplane rides, a Spirit of St. Louis wing rib reproduction, vintage toys, artwork and services and products donated by local merchants. The outstanding Swing Vipers provided the entertainment and many of the guests, clad in their best 1920’s attire danced and dined the evening away on a delicious feast catered by The Rhinecliff Hotel.
Museum Board President Michael Di Giacomo and Stewart Sommerville, Development Chairman presented The Spirit of the Aerodrome awards to Michael Hericourt of Ed Hericourt Construction for his incredible support to Old Rhinebeck over the years and to The Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce for their proven commitment and tireless advocacy to commerce in Dutchess County. Mr. Frank Castella, President and CEO of the Chamber accepted the award. Radio personally Dan Taylor of WNBC kept the program moving as Master of Ceremony and offered his own reflections of Old Rhinebeck as a result of his piloting many of the museum’s antique aircraft over the years.
Perhaps the highlight of the evening came as the sixty year old museum awarded the very first Spirit of the Aerodrome Scholarship to Katherine Beaumont of Rhinebeck, New York. Many of the Aerodrome’s former staff and volunteers were on hand and were quite vocal in their support for Ms. Beaumont and that it was significant and appropriately symbolic that the first scholarship be awarded on the sixtieth anniversary. Many were also heard to say how very proud museum fonder Cole Palen would have been to see this take place. Palen passed away in 1993.
The Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome begins its sixtieth year of airshows on June 9 at 2pm with its History of Flight Airshow. Museum grounds are open and biplane rides are available by reservation and weather permitting by calling (845) 752-3200.
AERODROME NAMED AS TOP ADVENTURE DESTINATION
RHINEBECK, NY – January 31, 2017 – The Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome has been chosen as one of seven locations in the US and Canada for FlipKey by TripAdvisor’s “Ultimate Adventure Buck List for Travelers.” The online review recommends, “Not only if you’re in the area, but this place is worth a special trip for the weekend airshows! Besides hangars full of aircraft from before the Lindbergh flight, they have actual World War I aircraft and others that take to the skies! Those pilots are fearless! Check the website for schedules as it is seasonal, but DO NOT MISS this treasure!” The Bucket List is available on the Aerodrome website: oldrhinebeck.org
“This was a great surprise to us,” said Aerodrome President Mike DiGiacomio, “We’re honored that this was driven by visitor reviews and look forward to educating and entertaining many new friends this season.” The Aerodrome Airshow season runs Saturdays and Sundays, June 10th through October 22nd. DiGiacomio adds, “To truly complete the adventure bucket list, rides in a 1929 biplane are available before and after the shows.”
The Village of Red Hook is also featured in the review, “You’ll find that classic ‘Main Street USA’ atmosphere in the small Hudson River town of Red Hook. Stop in for a quiet autumn weekend to pick apples or shop at an authentic farmers’ market. Explore the gardens and tour the historic Montgomery Place during your visit, too.”
The Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum is a 501 c 3 non-profit organization dedicated to preserving, restoring and flying aircraft of the Pioneer, WWI, and Golden Ages of aviation. The Museum is open weekdays and weekends May through October, with Saturday and Sunday Airshows from the middle of June to late October.
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