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The Evergreen flyin is the best antique event in the Northwest, and arguably one
of the best in the country. Traditionally Evergreen has been held at
Evergreen Field, in Vancouver, Washington. Evergreen is a classic old
grass strip, with taildragger instruction. Evergreen is also home to the
Northwest Antique Aircraft Association
Evergreen is a classic old field with a 600' agl pattern and grass/gravel strip, with a narrow and bouncy pavement strip for the spam cans. It is also home to one of the most beloved FBOs in the Northwest, one of those places where they proudly offer taildragger instruction and the former owner, Wally Olsen, was a fixture who'd taught many of the local pilots. Evergreen has a scattering of hangars, a collection of taildraggers tied down on the grass, and some great old wooden large hangars with "Evergreen Flying Service" emblazoned across the top as it should be.
Unfortunately, suburbia has surrounded Evergreen. This combined with the fact that Wally Olsen died a few years ago has had Evergreen Field living on borrowed time. The 2002 flyin was the last one to be held at Evergreen Field. In fact the 2002 flyin was the "Second Annual Final Flyin" since it was thought that 2001 would be the end. The fact that the NWAAC sponsors have a sense of humor carries throughout the event and it is a wonderful relaxed atmosphere.
The good news is that the flyin will continue in 2003 at McMinnville, Oregon, which is a large general aviation field about 20 miles southwest of Portland. McMinnville is also the home of the Spruce Goose, housed in a freshly built museum complex. The McMinnville folks are even said to be building a grass runway for the flyin, which is a nice touch.
It is hard to say how many people will come to the new location, but given the turnout at the 2002 event, and given the enthusiasm for keeping the flyin alive, I suspect that McMinnville-based Evergreen will be a big success.
Here's a great link to a photographic tribute to Evergreen 2002. It doesn't make much sense to talk about how to get in and out of the old Evergreen, so I'll have to go to McMinnville next year to write about the new environment.
If it is like the old event, however, then show up Friday or perhaps even Thursday evening, and tie down on the grass display area. The NWAAC does a pretty good job of organizing parking into rows, with walkways taped off for visitors. Evergreen has a spaghetti feed on Friday.
All day Saturday the field is open, but most show planes are already parked by Friday evening. The pattern stays full all day. Throughout the day on Saturday there are numerous informal discussions on lawnchairs set up under wings, and the barnstormers offer Travel Air biplane rides in a continuous stream. The public is invited to circulate in the display area, and there are a few vendors selling T-shirts, flight instruction information, aviation books, and the odd gadget. JC Cuevas' famous Salsa party is not to be missed in the afternoon near his Stinson.
In the evening the light is ideal for photographs, the last few biplane rides are given, and folks start to migrate towards the main hangar for the beer wagon, dinner and the awards ceremony. Here are photos I've taken at Evergreen.
Most folks leave on Sunday morning, so the attendance is usually down on Sunday. The line to depart can get a little long so patience is called for.
This year, 2002, I flew in with my Ryan SC-W and parked on the display area. It was a good time to meet some folks I'd never met before such as Tim Talen, who is a professional who had just finished a Fairchild 22 project. Tim's planes are consistent winners at Evergreen. I also met up with JC Cuevas, Addison Pemberton and his family from Spokane, and Jim "Speed" Miller from Spokane who won a trophy for his newly restored Travel Air.
I'm looking forward to 2003 at the new home!