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Auto show takes flight from airport

Last weekend a crowd gathered in an unlikely location for a new event that brought young and old alike out to the Mount Airy Surry County Airport.

The Inaugural Mount Airy Surry County Airport Auto Show presented by Speedology Lifestyle Solutions LLC brought together folks who would not let some fog or light rain get in the way of a good time.

With her hope being that this was the first in an ongoing series of such events in the area, event organizer Tamsen Beroth was a blur on Saturday as she zipped around overseeing the little things that make an event like this work. From planning and marketing, to a friendly and helpful staff to the transportation accommodations from the parking area for those who needed it – there was no evidence to suggest this was a first ever auto show event for the airport location.

To walk onto the tarmac of the Mount Airy Surry County Airport was already a new experience for some at the event and on another day it may have been a sufficient field trip. Occasionally the crackle from the air traffic control radio would call out over the loudspeaker, reminding everyone that they were indeed at an airport that is fully functioning and in use.

All vehicle types were welcome and walking the rows saw everything from prized racers to classic trucks to novelty rides. Families with kids in tow and Fido on a leash walked from car to car. People stopped to snap a pic by a favorite shiny ride or have a chit chat about horsepower.

Eagle Carports, one of the event’s sponsors, set up a layout that included a variety of luxury and exotic cars from a Bentley to a Lamborghini to a McLaren, whose scissor-like style doors were opened to warmly welcomed visitors over to take a look.

Tick Performance also brought some of the most impressive “go fast” parts for participants to learn about as well as a beautiful customer car that had all the camera flashes going.

In addition to a huge lineup of fully restored classic cars, Mount Airy Toyota and Mount Airy Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram had the newest rides from their inventory out on the tarmac as well.

It is not every day that people can be found inspecting a right-hand drive Skyline GT-R parked near a fully restored Bel Aire then walk over and check out a Beechcraft 35. It was the elements of the airport that made this auto show different from the start. Holding multiple purposes, the event was organized in part to increase the awareness of the local airport. Operated as a joint venture between Mount Airy and Surry County, the local general aviation airport is an economic driver for the area.

Studies from NC State issued earlier this year found that Smith-Reynolds airport in Winston-Salem was the only general aviation airport to have a greater economic impact on the region it serves than the Mount Airy Surry County Airport. To bring people on to the airport grounds for the auto show means more people talking about the airport and more people aware of the options that they may have to utilize the airport.

Mount Airy Surry County Airport Manager George Crater was beyond thrilled with the event. “I tell you, the number one thing for me was how impressed we all were with the group from Speedology. We were there to deal with the airport, they had (the event) planned out so nicely. Besides that little bit of rain and some low cloud cover,” Crater said the event from his perspective was a success.

The Community Partner for this event was Mayberry4Paws, a local non-profit whose goal is to subsidize the cost of spaying and neutering animals in order to reduce the number of animals entering the Surry County Animal Shelter. They also work tirelessly to ensure that shelter pets get pulled by reputable rescue groups to increase the likelihood of a successful rehoming.

Non-profits like Mayberry4Paws are so dependent on the contributions of members of the community to help offset costs of their operations. Grant writing and the occasional legacy gift from a donor’s estate may help, but it is the small dollar donations that truly add up.

Over $700 was raised for Mayberry4Paws at the inaugural auto show which is no small feat. “That was a really big deal to me for everyone that came to know where the funds were being directed to for this inaugural auto show,” dog lover Beroth said of her partnership with Mayberry4Paws.

As the crowds stood and the propeller’s whine went from a low buzz to a loud roar, the pilot put the plane into gear and aimed the aircraft’s nose toward the runway. A short journey down the taxiway, a turn to the north, a final check with air traffic control and the Beechcraft 35 began its rumble down the runway and toward the skies.

Youngster Gavyn Koen watched and waved as the plane disappeared. When asked where the pilot may be going, Gavyn hesitated not a moment before pointing toward the ever shrinking plane in the air and giving his best answer to a silly question, “Sky.”

Airport manager Crater and event organizer Beroth are in agreement that both would like to do this again next year. “We have plans for 2022,” Beroth said, “I hope to have an announcement for that in the near future.”

Next fall, after everyone has recovered from Autumn Leaves, and if the fog decides to lift again at just the right time: little Gavyn and a larger crowd will be ready for the Second Annual Mount Airy Surry County Airport Auto Show.

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Source: https://www.mtairynews.com

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