WACO announces 100th anniversary events


TROY — WACO Air Museum & Learning Center will celebrate WACO’s 100th anniversary this year in 2023, hosting a series of special events during the annual fly-in Sept. 15 to 17, including a once-in-a-lifetime gathering of 100 vintage WACO bi-planes.

The Troy factory built 100 UPF-7 models in 99 days as trainers for World War II, WACO Executive Director Nancy Royer said.

“That was the only time in history that 100 WACOs have ever been gathered in a single location,” she said. “We thought it only fitting that we attempt to get 100 aircraft back on this field for the 100th anniversary.”

The anniversary celebration will start at WACO Field on Friday, Sept. 15, with live music from local artists, food trucks and a pre-war car show.

On Saturday, Sept. 16, a parade featuring 20 vintage WACO aircraft and other attractions will start at 10 a.m., and the annual in-air parade of WACOs will also be held at WACO Field.

“We will have an in-air parade of planes, which we do every year as part of our yearly fly-ins,” Royer said. “It will allow people to get up close to the flight line here at WACO.”

“Guests will be able to roam our aircraft parking area, which we’ve extended to house 100 WACOs this year, and see the planes up-close,” she said. “There will be kids’ activities, and food trucks will be on-site.”

The day will close with a ticketed event featuring a swing dance and dinner, with music by the Tom Daugherty Orchestra, who will re-create Genn Miller’s Army Air Force Band and the Andrews Sisters in full World War II uniform.

Events on Sunday, Sept. 17, will include the annual Farewell to the WACOs in the morning, followed by fly-overs from a B-52, the Grimes Flying Lab and the children’s candy drop. Bi-plane rides will also be available throughout the weekend.

“Kids’ activities will continue on Sunday,” Royer said, “The radio-controlled group known as the Barnstormers, who make their home here at WACO Field, will be moving their popular R/C airshow and children’s candy drop to the Sunday event.”

Museum officials announced the anniversary event schedule during a special media day on Thursday, Feb. 23. Representatives from the Miami County Visitors and Conventions Bureau, the city of Troy and Chevrolet of Troy also spoke at the media event.

“We’re fortunate to live in a region with a rich aviation history, and be able to welcome travelers from all over the world,” Miami County Visitors and Conventions Bureau Executive Director Leiann Stewart said. “We take pride in telling WACO’s story every day, to residents and visitors, and can’t wait for the excitement to unfold in September.”

Sponsors for the WACO 100th Anniversary Fly-In include Tourism Ohio, the Miami County Visitors and Conventions Bureau, the city of Troy, the National Aviation Heritage Area, Hartzell Propeller, Chevrolet of Troy and Wells Electric. More information can be found online at www.wacoairmuseum.org.

“All of this is made possible by our sponsors and our partners,” Royer said.

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