Dillon Air and Water Show takes to the wind and waves this weekend | SummitDaily.com

Dillon Air and Water Show takes to the wind and waves this weekend

Jessica Smith
Two planes perform above Lake Dillon for a previous Air and Water Show. This weekend will feature various acrobatic displays from vintage and custom-built planes.
Bill Linfield / Special to the Weekender |

If You Go

What: Pancake breakfast

When: 8:30-10 a.m., Saturday, June 13

Where: Dillon Marina

Cost: $5

What: Air and water show

When: 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, June 13

Where: Dillon Marina

Cost: Free

What: Blue Steel concert

When: Noon to 2 p.m., Saturday, June 13

Where: Dillon Amphitheatre

Cost: Free

What: Let’s Go Boating, LAPS fundraiser

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 13 and Sunday, June 14

Where: Dillon Marina

Cost: $20 adults/$10 children

“Oh I have slipped the surly bonds of earth, and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings.”

Thus begins the poem “High Flight” by John Gillespie Magee, Jr. The poem, beloved of aviators, details the soaring, wheeling, “tumbling mirth” of piloting an aircraft through the sky’s “long delirious burning blue” and “footless halls of air.”

While not everyone gets the chance to pilot a plane themselves, spectators can enjoy the swooping antics of a variety of antique and vintage planes at the air and water show in Dillon this weekend.


For the third year in a row, Dillon celebrates National Marina Day on Saturday, June 13, with an air and water show.

“Harbor master Bob Evans is a pilot himself, so he has a lot of passion and was instrumental in bringing the event to us,” said Kerstin Anderson, director of marketing and communications for the town of Dillon.

Pilots and their planes are flying in from various locations across Colorado and the U.S. to participate in the air show, which will begin at 10 a.m.

The show will get off to a loud start with a Korean War-era T-28, which a press release of the event described as sounding “a bit like a growling machine gun.”

Pilot Danny Sorenson will provide a solo performance with his home-built Sorensen BF9-2 custom biplane. Maneuvers including loops, rolls, hammerheads, inverted flight and more are to be expected.

Another aerobatic display will feature a Sukhoi Su-26, a single-seat plane from the former Soviet Union.

Summit County resident Gary Rower and his formation partner Buck Roetman will pilot a World War II-era Stearman PT-17 and a Pitts S-25 for a combination of solo and dual acrobatic performances, as well as a mock dogfight.

The air show will last about two hours, wrapping up around noon.

“I think that it’s pretty inspiring,” Anderson said of the air show. “I come from a Naval family myself, where I had my father and cousins and uncles who flew; so to watch these beautiful planes with a crisp blue background of the mountains, watching them twirling and doing loops is just really something special.”

Aviation enthusiasts and amateurs alike will enjoy the show, she said, and an announcer will be on hand to narrate and explain the history behind the aircraft. The Marina Park and shoreline near the Dillon Amphitheatre are recommended as the best places to view the show.

“It’s a great location to watch them from, and they zoom past you and it’s loud and thrilling,” Anderson said.


Early risers can start their day at the marina before the air show enjoying a pancake breakfast. The breakfast is a fundraiser for the Dillon Junior Sailing Club, a youth nonprofit. The funds will go toward repairing the Junior Sailing dock, for buying new practice boats and paying competition fees. The club will also be selling raffle tickets to win a sunrise flight onboard a Flight For Life helicopter.

During and after the air show, the marina parking lot will host several booths. The U.S. Air Force Academy will have a glider on display, and Colorado Northwestern College will display a plane that’s in the process of being built, as well as provide information on their aviation program. Hudson Auto Source will also have several cars and trucks on display.

Among the other booths will be one on the timely issue of wildfire preparedness. Food and drinks will be available for purchase.

From noon to 2 p.m. the U.S. Air Force Academy rock band Blue Steel will perform at the amphitheatre.

The marina will also be putting the “water” into the water and air show by offering free, stand-up paddleboard demonstrations and discounted boat rides. The boat rides are part of the Let’s Go Boating fundraiser for the League of Animals and People of the Summit (LAPS). LAPS is a local, nonprofit organization with an animal focus. It supplements the spay/neuter program at the animal shelter and offers an assistance fund for locals whose pets have large emergency veterinarian bills. The boating tours include boats and pontoons and last for 45 minutes. Rides cost $20 for adults and $10 for children. This fundraiser will be available both Saturday and Sunday.

Since the marina parking lot will be taken up by booths and presentations, Anderson recommends that people utilize parking in downtown Dillon and walk down to the marina. Alternately, people could park at the City Market parking lot and take the Summit Stage bus over to the marina.

“Plan on spending the day,” she added. “It is a full day of fun down there.”

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