Some of the Fireballs (and plane handlers) from the 2nd Annual Happy Valley Independence Day Exhibition Fly. Pictured are (back row, left to right) Richard Entwhistle, Jim Harper, Jerry Olson, Gary Harris; (front row) Irene Heen, Jim Cameron, Doug Powers. Not shown, Mark Hansen, Barbara White. All photos by Barbara White.

2nd Annual Happy Valley Fourth of July Demonstration

Happy Valley, Ore.

By Jerry" Olson

As part of the Happy Valley's annual Fourth of July celebration, the Northwest Fireballs put on a control-line flying demonstration. This was the second year we participated in the celebration and it is turning into a really fun event for our club. The demonstration was held at Happy Valley Park in the City of Happy Valley, southeast of Portland.

On July 4th, the city sponsors a parade that terminates at the park. After the parade, the park fills with July 4th celebrants. There is plenty of food, music, picnicking and, of course, our demonstration. The demonstration is a pretty laid back affair. The city provides an area in the park in which to fly and, as we put up our flights, we inevitably attract spectators. Many of the spectators we talked to had memories of flying Cox 1/2A airplanes as kids.

The 1/2A trainers supplied by Jim Cameron were a real highlight of the demonstration. Jim set up his trainers, then provided a hands-on control-line-flying introduction to many of the kids who were at the celebration. Without exception, every kid that Jim had in the center of the circle flying a plane had an ear-to-ear grin on his or her face. Once word spread, there was no shortage of eager students. Jim also gave an interview to a crew filming the day's festivities.

In addition to flying, the club members enjoyed a potluck picnic.

We enjoy this event, as a club, because it gives us an opportunity to showcase our hobby to a large group of people who would not normally be exposed to it. It might even stimulate interest in control-line flying and attract new participants.

Participating in this year's event were Richard Entwhistle, Barbara White, Doug Powers, Mark Hansen, Jim Cameron, Jim Harper, Jerry Olson and Gary Harris.

Happy Valley Demonstration photo gallery

Gary Harris prepares for his first flight of the day.

Waiting for the parade to arrive.

Jim Cameron shows yet another young person what it is like to fly.

One more hopeful flyer before Jim takes a well-earned break.

Flyers take a lunch break while the roving camera crew interviews Jim Cameron.

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This page was upated July 12, 2009