Tucumcari airshow will go on as planned

Ryan Lengerich

TUCUMCARI — The Thunderbirds won’t fly, but the 11th annual Tucumcari Rotary Club Air show will go on as planned from noon to 4 p.m. on Wednesday.
A night show will kick off the event, beginning at 7:30 tonight. Officials said the 30-minute event will be visible about anywhere in the city.
Organizer Bob McClelland Jr. said the quality of this year’s show will be “as good as anywhere in the nation.”
Gates open at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Tucumcari Municipal Airport. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger and can be purchased in advance or at the gate.
The Air Force Thunderbirds were expected to attend, but a Sept. 14 crash at an air show in Idaho has interrupted their performances until an investigation is complete.
McClelland said he expects as many as 40 planes to be on display during the day and added the annual show has grown immensely since it began in 1992, when crop-dusters were among the attractions.
“That first year we had people lined out to the freeway because this town had just been starving for something they hadn’t had in a long time,” he said.
McClelland attributes the show’s growth and success to its mid-week schedule in which conflicts with other bigger shows are avoided and popular acts are free to attend. Invariably, he said, the success of the show hinges on the participation of the community and the schools.
“Rotary Club does it for the kids and that is what makes it all worth it,” he said.