Bowman Field festival

This weekend’s family-friendly Bowman Field Aviation & Military Heritage Festival celebrates the military and aviation history at Bowman Field, which is the oldest continually operating commercial airport in North America.

LOUISVILLE — Historic Bowman Field is an aviation, architectural and civic treasure.

To celebrate and promote this community resource, Bowman Field will stage the third annual Bowman Field Aviation & Military Heritage Festival on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 6 and 7. Once again, this event will feature rare vintage aircraft and warplanes from all over the United States, a 4-mile run around the airport presented by Independent Pilot Association (IPA) benefiting Reach for Kids, military vehicles and equipment, military memorabilia, past war anniversary exhibits and more.

The Bowman Field Aviation & Military Heritage Festival will be held in the area around the historic Administration Building and the 1929 Curtiss Flying Service Hangar, current home of Central American Airways. There will be more than 30 aircraft on display, vintage airplane rides (C-45, B-25 and the Ford Tri Motor), vintage cars, motorcycles, military vehicles, community exhibitors and historical re-enactors. Bring the family to see Aviation and Military Heritage come alive in this unique setting. The goal of the festival is to see history come to life, as well as to experience the vibrant world of aviation, and to honor our veterans.

Proceeds from the festival will benefit The Bowman Field Aviation Heritage Foundation, Honor Flight Bluegrass and Vintage Warbirds.

"This year’s annual Bowman Field Festival is a wonderful opportunity for people of all ages to come together and experience historic Bowman Field," Patrick MacDonald, president of the Bowman Field Foundation/Bowman Field Friends/Board of Directors LRAA, stated in a news release. "The festival will showcase Louisville's rich and vibrant aviation tradition, heritage, and activity, as well as to showcase and honor our military heritage and celebrate our veterans. The festival provides an opportunity for everyone to come "inside the fences" to see, touch, interact and fly in aircraft from yesterday and today. We are fortunate to have Bowman Field centrally located in our community and accessible to all.”

Bowman Field, established in 1920, has the distinction of being one of the longest continuously operating commercial airport in the United States. The facility is situated on 426 acres adjacent to Seneca Park with three buildings on the National Register of historic places, including the art deco Administration Building built in 1929-1936 and designed by local architect William Arrasmith.


• For the third year, the Bowman Field 4 Miler, presented by the Independent Pilot’s Association (IPA), will kick off the weekend with a challenging and fun run through scenic Seneca Park and around Bowman Field, with the finish line of the event on the airfield where runners will receive a pancake breakfast and admission to the event; $5 from each race entry will go to support IPA’s charity partner, Reach for Kids. For more information visit

• Four Roses Bourbon tastings and educational sessions, craft beer, and food trucks.

• Beyond Band of Brothers Historical Tours are providing swag bags and catalogues for the first 2,000 visitors (one per family).

• LIVE bands and entertainment, including Ladies for Liberty and The Derby City Dandies.

• Kids Aviation Arts & Crafts Area supported by the Frazier History Museum.

• Military re-enactors and encampment and historic vehicles.

The festival features more than 20 vintage airplanes, including:

• C-130 Hercules, from the Kentucky Air Nation Guard. The aircraft has operated for over 50 years of continuous service for the U.S. military, and is one of the largest aircrafts to ever land at Bowman Field. Piloted by Louisville native, Bowman Field trained, Deputy Commander David Flynn, (KyANG), this is a rare opportunity to walk through and experience this special aircraft.

Airplane Rides Available for purchase include: B-25; The Ford Tri Motor; TBM Avenger; Waco Bi Plane; WW II Beechcraft C-45; Vietnam-era Huey helicopters; discovery flights in Cessna 172s and modern helicopters.

For more information visit

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