KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – As one of 43 airfields from World War II, Keystone Heights Airport is filled with a rich history. Established in 1942 by the U.S. Army Air Corps, the airfield was built as a …
KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – As one of 43 airfields from World War II, Keystone Heights Airport is filled with a rich history. Established in 1942 by the U.S. Army Air Corps, the airfield was built as a support field for Camp Blanding and home to the AAFSAT Strategic Reconnaissance School.
In February 1945, the airfield was deemed inactive by the AAFSAT and it was not until 1947 that it was deeded over to the city of Keystone Heights. In order to commemorate its 80th anniversary, the airport is throwing a one-day event for the whole community to enjoy.
The celebration will be held on Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will have an opening ceremony with the skydiving team from SkyDive Palatka will deliver the U.S. flag. Local musician Stephen Quinn will sign the National Anthem. Keystone Heights High’s JROTC will be participating in the ceremony. Visitors then will be able to enjoy a classic car show, helicopter display and a military museum items from Camp Blanding.
The event will include seven vintage military aircrafts like a TBM Avenger, B25, T34, T33 and a Steer Man. The airport also will feature a Touch a Truck Event, Funtastic Fire Brigade’s Jambulance and free plane rides for children ages 8-17 to enjoy. Families can also enjoy tours of P3 planes and a demonstration performed by the Cloud Buster RC Club.
The anniversary party will have food vendors and live music played by the Keystone Community Band.
“It’ll be a great event and it’s free,” said airport manager Maria Searcy.
Though the celebration is to celebrate the airport’s 80th anniversary, it is also a way to give back to the community. “It’s important for us because we are a community airport that we want to give back to the community and host this free event,” Searcy said. “We want to be able to help educate our community about aviation and what a local airport brings to the economic value for our local businesses. Also, educating our youth, so that they can see what they have in their backyard and maybe be inspired by aviation as a career for them.”
The airport anticipates more than 3,000 people will attend.
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