DAYTON — Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park will celebrate National Aviation Day on Saturday, Aug. 19, with a hot air balloon glow at sunset.
This special event will begin at Huffman Prairie Flying Field starting at 6:30 p.m., with the glow happening from dusk until 9:30 p.m. Rangers from the national park will take guests on guided tours to share the story of early flight at the prairie. There will be booths set up with activities and information on park sites and junior ranger programs. As dusk approaches, balloonists Al Nels, Andrew Nels, and Mark Frazier will light up the prairie with the glow of their three hot air balloons. Kids of all ages can get up close to the balloons and learn about how they fly and how to become a balloon pilot.
National Aviation Day, a yearly celebration of aviation achievements in the U.S., was first declared on the birthday of Orville Wright in 1939 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It has been celebrated around the country with parades and airshows. Our event will be held on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base at Huffman Prairie Flying Field, the 84-acre prairie where Orville and Wilbur Wright developed a fully controllable flying machine, trained themselves to be pilots and opened a flight school.
This free, family-friendly event will be held at the prairie located at Gate 16A on state Route 444; entrance is at Twin Base Golf Club. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets, snacks or a picnic, and beverages in plastic or aluminum containers. The event is being held at a vibrant and active prairie, so please wear outdoor clothes, and bring sunblock, plenty of water, and insect repellent. Please do not bring alcohol, firearms, weapons of any kind, glass containers, pets, or tents. Forecasts are currently showing favorable weather on Aug. 19, but this event is weather dependent and could be canceled if inclement weather occurs.
Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park preserves and interprets the history and legacies of the Wright Brothers and Paul Laurence Dunbar. Learn more about these extraordinary men and the story of the park at www.nps.gov/daav or find them on social media at facebook.com/DaytonAviationNPS, and @DaytonAviationNHP on Instagram.