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Car show/air show combo possible for Pickle Fest

By LeAnn R. Ralph

BOYCEVILLE — A new combination classic car show, fly-in and aircraft show that includes a “radar run” could be part of this year’s Cucumber Festival in Boyceville.

Dan Wellumson, Boyceville police chief, and Clayton Aspseter, a Boyceville resident, spoke to the Boyceville Village Board at Monday night’s meeting (February 11) about the new event.

Osceola holds a similar event that is highly popular, Wellumson said, adding that he had talked to Aspseter at last year’s Pickle Fest and learned that both had been to the event in Osceola called Wings and Wheels.

The Osceola event is a car show held in conjunction with a fly-in and aircraft show, and in the afternoon, a radar run is held in which a quarter mile of the runway is shut down, a radar gun is set up, and people drive their classic cars down the runway, he said.

The Osceola airport “is filled with activity” during the event, Wellumson said, noting that he and Aspseter had started brainstorming the idea for Boyceville’s Cucumber Festival.

Osceola has a committee to work on the event, which has been held there “for decades,” he said.

Wellumson said he had talked to a member of Boyceville’s Community Action Committee, to members of the Airport Boosters, to the owner of the business who sponsors the car show held during Pickle Fest and to members of the car club in Glenwood City.

Wellumson also talked to an official from the Federal Aviation Administration, who said it would “not be a big deal” to receive clearance for a car show at the airport and to use the runway, although the FAA would prefer to see a car show held in conjunction with an air show.

Wellumson and Aspseter said the event could be held on Saturday of Pickle Fest.

“It’s all just thinking right now … it all has to be determined,” Wellumson said.

Osceola charges $25 per car and limits the event to 100 cars because of the space available, Aspseter said.

A rider on the village’s insurance for the Osceola event costs $432 and is paid for out of the entry fees, he said.

An event like this “catches on like wildfire … it’s a money maker,” Aspseter said, noting that the radar run was added to the Osceola event two years ago.

Amery holds a similar event that also is very popular, Aspseter and Wellumson said.

One possibility would be to hold the car show at the entrance on the east side of the airport to avoid cars crossing the aircraft traffic, Wellumson noted.

Members of the village board wondered about damage to the runway from the radar event.

The classic cars will not cause any more damage to the runway than aircraft landing on the runway, Aspseter said.

“It sounds interesting and good, but I want the blessing of the car show people and the airport boosters,” said Gilbert Krueger, village president.

“I think we have that already,” Wellumson replied.

“Some sort of new blood for the festival would be good,” Krueger said.

Village board members also wondered about the tractor pull held the weekend of Pickle Fest and whether an ambulance would be available for the car show and aircraft show.

Wellumson said he would talk to Matt Feeney, ambulance service director, and Krueger said perhaps both Boyceville ambulances could be staffed for that day.

Aspseter is employed by Centurylink and said the company had provided a banner for Glenwood City’s Rustic Lore Days and would most likely be interested in providing a banner for the car show/air show.

Since Rustic Lore is held the same weekend every year, Glenwood City is able to use the banner from year to year, he noted.

Village board members also were concerned about the kinds of vehicles allowed in the radar run and did not want motorcycles or modified garden tractors to be used.

Wellumson said the Osceola event limits participation to vehicles with a current Wisconsin collector license plate.

The Osceola committee meets once per month, and each meeting focuses on some aspect of the Wings and Wheels event, such as insurance, concessions, and registration of the vehicles, he said.

“We can learn from Osceola. They’ve been doing it for decades,” Wellumson said.

The combined event could be beneficial for the Pickle Fest car show, the fly-in and Pickle Fest itself, Aspseter said.

Members of the Boyceville Village Board agreed that they were interested in having Wellumson and Aspseter pursue holding a combination car show and air show and asked that they be kept informed.