About 30-40 historical planes will be on display. | Courtesy of Bowman Field Friends
About 30-40 historical planes will be on display. | Courtesy of Bowman Field Friends

Bowman Field was built in 1920 and has the distinction of being the longest continuously operating commercial airport in the United States. So much aviation history is located on its 426 acres off Taylorsville Road, it’s about time we acknowledge its worth.

Bowman Field Friends, a group dedicated to preserving the airport, will host the first-ever Bowman Field Aviation Heritage Festival this Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 8-9. The event will feature rare, vintage aircraft from around the country, as well as food, drinks and lots of activities for both kids and adults who love aviation. There will even be an opportunity to ride in an original restored Ford Tri-Motor and DC-3 plane that once operated at the airport in its heyday.

In its heyday, Bowman Field was Louisville's main airport. | Courtesy of Bowman Field Friends
In its heyday, Bowman Field was Louisville’s main airport. | Courtesy of Bowman Field Friends

Along with the more than 30 historical planes on display, there will be vintage cars, military vehicles, community exhibitors, historical interpretation actors, an activity station for kids, pancake breakfast, food trucks, and craft beer and bourbon booths.

The mission of the festival, according to Bowman Field Friends, is to highlight the importance of the airport as part of Louisville’s history.

“People have a great affection for airplanes, and Bowman Field provides the perfect park-like setting and historical context for connecting with the beauty and wonder of flight,” says Rick Tabb, executive director of the organization, in a press release. “We are excited to create this event that makes aviation come alive here at Bowman Field by bringing together the aviation and the local community, and to share this wonderful resource and experience with a greater audience.”

The Aviation Heritage Festival runs 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8, and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9, at the Administration Building and 1929 Curtiss Flying Service Hangar at Bowman Field. Admission is $10, $5 for children ages 6-16, and free for kids 5 and under.

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Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle (barbelleblog.com). She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."