OSHKOSH – Terry Brokaw’s been attending AirVenture since the 1950’s.
“I’ve been here every year except 1974,” he told FOX 11.
Brokaw and his wife Susie have attended together since 1971.
They were some of the first in line at EAA Friday for Camp Scholler’s opening.
“We’ve been in this area, or within 50 yards of it for the last 20 years. So we come over a month ahead of it to get MY spot,” Terry Brokaw explained.
The Brokaws aren’t alone, many campers have that one perfect place to set up.
“They want sites next to their friends they’ve been with through the years and so they’ll do whatever it takes to get those sites,” said EAA employee Amy Wenig.
“Some will set their camper right away, others will just stake out their positions, put their credential there and then be back shortly before AirVenture,” explained EAA spokesperson Dick Knapinski.
A lot of AirVenture visitors come early, claim their spots and then go back home, but some stay and volunteer.
“They’re planting flowers, building picnic tables, moving things around. Just getting the grounds ready to go,” said Knapinski.
So how are the grounds? They’re a little mushy because of recent rain, but not too bad thanks to drainage improvements EAA did in 2011 and 2012.
“You’ll see those drain tiles, those rain-moving ditches, storm water ditches. They’re all doing exactly what they’re supposed to do,” explained Knapinski.
Seeing it all come together is why Susie Brokaw likes to get here early.
“We get to watch everything happen and come in. I love to watch this little city build. It’s just amazing,” she said.
That, and seeing their friends.
“Originally, we came for the airplanes, but now it’s more for the social aspect, because there’s a while bunch of people we never see except for here,” explained Terry Brokaw.
AirVenture runs from July 28th to August 3rd this year.