On Saturday, August 12, local residents are invited to drive out to Custer County’s airport to take in the free SilverWest AirFest 2023. Enjoy the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains as a backdrop and watch an array of vintage airplanes take off and land.
Bring the whole family for the free pancake breakfast, which is from 8 – 10 a.m., and let them meet pilots of vintage aircraft and homemade planes. Plan to come early because most of the events take place in the morning, and the airplanes depart mid-morning because of Colorado’s unpredictable weather.
The AirFest will take place at Butler Field at the SilverWest Airport 10 miles south of Westcliffe on CO-69.
You can even view up close some of the different planes on display and watch the air demonstrations as pilots take to the sky for aerial shows. Live music begins at 8:30 a.m. with the High Country Junkies, followed by Silver Linings and Bob Reed and the Acousticators. There will be more vendors, crafters, and food trucks to keep everyone fed and interested in everything from dog treats to lavender to jewelry. Be sure to show the children the flight simulators and games and watch for giveaways.
Free Parking: gates open at 7:30 a.m. Enter at the south gate, where you will find AirFest staff (look for the orange T-shirts) directing folks where to park. Handicap parking will be available closest to the gate.
Flying in? Contact Clyde Butler, airport manager, at 719-792-2452 for details and any assistance you may need while flying to the SilverWest Airport.
To learn more, view the schedule of events, food, and craft vendors at silverwestairfest.com. The AirFest Committee would like to thank their sponsors—the Custer County Tourism Board and the Platinum Properties Team.
– Ellen Glover