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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedDedications 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 Koepnick
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 Lawrence
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 Lawrence
A crowd gathers for the dedication of the Legacy Brown Arch Sunday afternoon.

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 life.

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 Oshkosh."

If would like to purchase a brick and leave your mark at the Brown Arch, visit the Brown Arch tent or the EAA Welcome Center.

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."

FUTURE AIRVENTURE DATES: 2014: July 28-Aug. 3; 2015: July 20-26; 2016: July 25-31; 2017: July 24-30
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