The 7th Annual Armed Forces Weekend Celebration is coming this Friday and Saturday, May 19th & 20th! The celebration begins Friday evening on Brady’s Courthouse Square as the beautifully restored WWII military vehicles of the Camp Howze Military Vehicle Preservation Association convoy to the square to set up. This is a great opportunity to see these incredible restorations, snap photos, and ask questions about how these vehicles helped win the war. This is a good time to stroll around Brady’s beautiful Square and take advantage of the local businesses. D&J’s plans to be open late for visitors and is a spot many Fly-In guests look forward to visiting year after year. This is also a good time for a walk over to the Hotel Brady currently being restored to check on its progress. From the hotel, it is just a short block to the Heart of Texas Historical Museum which will be open for the evening so guests can explore the history of McCulloch County. The museum has a wonderful collection commemorating the contributions McCulloch County and Brady’s Curtis Field made to the WWII war effort. A special exhibit is the Curtis Field tower which was moved from the airport to downtown. A climb to the top takes one back to the days when 10,000 young fliers were earning their wings at Curtis Field.

Saturday morning, weather permitting, the planes will begin arriving at Curtis Field as the celebration continues. Some very special planes plan to fly in. Among these is the P-39 Airacobra from the Commemorative Air Force in San Marcos. This rare fighter is one of only two flying in the United States. Also new for this year are the British Reliant and the 1927 Travellair. Both of these aircraft plan to sell rides to benefit the Texas Air Museum and Ranger Airfield. Our Dutch allies, who train regularly at Curtis Field, plan to join us with their Chinook and Apace helicopters. The PT-17, 476, that was stationed here during WWII is also planning a return trip to Curtis Field. This is a rare honor. Many other very special planes are also planning the trip, and it is always fun to see what beautiful planes might fly in as a surprise.

The Camp Howze Military Vehicle Preservation Association is planning to have their camp on display and provide weapon demonstrations at 10 AM and 1 PM. At noon, the Goodfellow Joint Services Color Guard will present the colors as our national anthem is played and we recognize and honor our active duty military and our veterans as the T-6 and T-34 fly by. Then the Boy Scouts will be providing a delicious Hamburger Lunch to benefit the Boy Scouts and Morgan Military Aviation Museum.

Many more activities are also planned. The Morgan Military Aviation Museum exhibit and art gallery will be on display as well as displays by the Heart of Texas Historical Museum and the Camp Howze Medic display. Camp Howze is bringing their WWII dog tag machine to sell dog tags, and Morgan Military Aviation Museum will have their gift shop open. The Airplane Train is making a return trip which is a definite highlight for the kids, and Face Painting will be available as well. Beautifully built radio-controlled aircraft will be on display. The trailer for the documentary “Crew 713” will be available in the big hangar for viewing, and their film crew will be available to tell about their project.

Weather permitting, WWII veteran and former B-17 waist gunner, Herb Cavness, plans to take a ride in the P-51 Mustang Pecos Bill. Cowden Ward, of Freedom Flyers, gives rides to WWII veterans to thank them for their contributions and sacrifices for our freedom.

After all of the fun of the Fly-In, the Hangar Dinner and Dance kicks off at 7 PM with catering by Moonlight Catering and music by The Sentimental Journey Orchestra with the Memphis Belles trio under the direction of Ted Conerly. Tickets are $30 and are available at State Farm Insurance at 1206 S. Bridge St. or on the museum website

It is an honor to recognize our active duty military and veterans. We thank them for the service and sacrifice each one has made for the freedoms we enjoy! Please join the fun as we say thank you this weekend in Brady!

As always, the safety of our guests, the pilots, and their historic aircraft are our first concern. With a possibly problematic weather forecast, we will keep everyone informed by way of radio and Facebook if any changes regarding the outdoor activities need to be made. Meanwhile, prayers for good Fly-In weather continue!