By Frank Schier
Editor & Publisher
The 9th Annual Wings and Wheels Festival takes off July 18, featuring all models of cars and trucks, motorcycles, a variety of airplanes and antique tractors, complete with a tractor pull. Enjoy kid’s activities and museum tours as well at 5151 Orth Road, Poplar Grove, IL 61065. Admission is family friendly at only $5, with 10-years-olds and younger free of charge. Come rain or shine.
Rockford Brewing Company (RBC) signed on as a coordinator and lunch sponsor, providing fine brews, pulled pork, brats, hot dogs and chips. RBC has brought Stockholm Inn aboard for breakfast, offering an 8 a.m. to noon serving of Swedish pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage and bacon. Coley’s Cooler will be providing ice cream treats.
For car aficionados, come and see vintage Porsches, Corvettes, Mustangs (yes, muscle cars, you hot-rodders) and of course the famous Ford Model A and Model T and other vintage vehicles. Jack Cadwell Productions will coordinate the car and truck show. Look for Allis-Chalmers, J.I. Case, John Deere, Farmall, Minneapolis-Moline, Olivers and Cockshutt and other tractors.
For airplane buffs, bi-plane rides by biplanesofamerica.com will be available, plus displays of a variety of vintage single and double-engine, privately-owned planes. The REACT helicopter may be viewed from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The museum offers the history of 50-plus-year-old facility. The main building is the Waukesha Hangar that was the county airport building for Milwaukee. It was built with a WPA grant in 1937. Rather than let it be torn down, the Popular Grove activists had it dismantled brick by brick and reconstructed it on Orth Road in the late 1990s. Investigate the museum’s flight simulator and library for more adventure and history.
Besides the main museum building, three other hangars are on the complex. The Hamilton Hangar is the smallest of the three, representative of the bi-plane era from Milwaukee. The Springfield Hangar, opened in the late 1920s and was acquired from the city of its name. The newest hangar was built two years ago, and is used for restorations and the home of the local chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association.
Slim’s Garage houses vehicles from the 1940s, complete with antique tools, and a 1920s Sunoco Gas station is also on the grounds.
Sponsors of the July 18 festival are RBC, Wallem Associates, Alpine Bank, Boone County Family Restaurant, Rezich & Rezich, Hyde Out Bar & Grill, Edwards Apple Orchard, IntCon, Inc., Lamonica Beverages, The Rock River Times and Reinhart Foodservice.
Part of the proceeds benefit the Popular Grove Aviation Education Assoc., a 501c3 corporation, for outreach to area schools and annual scholarship awards to students seeking degrees and certifications in aviation and automotive industries.
For information call 815-547-3315 or go to poplargrovewingsandwheels.com.