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American Barnstormers Tour coming to Brainerd

The American Barnstormers Tour, a nostalgic salute to the barnstormers who ventured across America during the 1920s seeking fame and fortune in their biplanes, is scheduled to visit Brainerd Aug. 12-14.

The Brainerd stop will be at Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport.

Other stops will be made in North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Illinois on their fourth biennial tour this summer. As many as 14 restored vintage aircraft from the 1920s and 1930s will journey across the Midwest on a five-city tour from Aug. 9 through Aug. 26. Admission and parking is free.

The tour aircraft will be on display from approximately 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (weather permitting). A select group of aircraft and skilled aviators are chosen for each tour based on the uniqueness of their ships and their commitment to promoting vintage aviation. All barnstormers participate in recreating the era with period costumes, aircraft signage, historical information, and vintage props. They are aviation ambassadors and love to share the stories and personal history of their aircraft with anyone who will listen.

Each day the aircraft will take to the skies for the “Barnstormers Parade of Flight” with master of ceremonies, EAA Radio on-air personality, Jeff Montgomery.

Spectators can experience the thrill of open cockpit flight for themselves and go barnstorming in a beautifully restored Travel Air or New Standard vintage biplane. Biplane rides will be available daily weather permitting. Biplanes can take up to four passengers at a time and are $70 per person for the 15 minute experience. No reservations and all ages can fly.

The period between the end of World War I and the United States’ entry into World War II is remembered as “The Golden Age of Aviation.” Barnstorming tours, trophy races, and record-setting flights all captured the public’s attention.

The American Barnstormers Tour was born under the wing of an antique Travel Air biplane on a grass airfield in Iowa. In the company of friends and vintage biplane pilots plans were formed to resurrect the barnstorming tours of the 1920s, where many citizens would see their first airplane up close, or perhaps spend a few dollars for their first flight. Tour organizers Clay Adams and Sarah Wilson saw an opportunity to give visitors from all backgrounds a unique vantage point to connect the past with the present. What started as just a dream has blossomed into a real barnstorming revival.

The first American Barnstormers Tour lifted off in 2006 with 17 airplanes from Kalamazoo, Mich., and traveled through five states to end at Air Ven-ture in Oshkosh, Wis. The response was tremendous; it reinforced the organizers belief that people were still excited to see these beautiful aircraft and take their first biplane ride. In 2008 the Tour flew westward into America’s Heartland crossing Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri and grew to 19 aircraft. Brainerd will be the only Minnesota stop on the 2012 tour. For more information on the American Barnstormers visit us on the web at For more information on the Brainerd event, to volunteer for the event or become a sponsor, contact Mike Petersen at 612-750-2981 or email at

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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