Seaplanes set to return to Keuka
HAMMONDSPORT--The Glenn H. Curtiss Museum invites the community to the southern end of Keuka Lake for the upcoming annual Wings and Wheels event. Scheduled for Sept. 17, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event celebrates the legacy of aviation history in the region. The festival takes place in the village, with events and vendors from the Village Square down Shethar Street to Depot Park on the lakefront. Attendees are invited to park at the Curtiss Museum or Hammondsport School and ride the complimentary shuttle to the festival. Park Place on the Village Square and Shethar Street from Mechanic Street to the waterfront will be closed to traffic.
"Wings and Wheels commemorates the contributions that Glenn Curtiss made to the internal combustion engine and early aviation history," said James Quint, executive director of the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum. "Curtiss is known as the father of naval aviation, and many of his early seaplanes were tested on Lake Keuka. Hammondsport was known as a center of aviation in the world for a period of time."
Organizers expect about a dozen seaplanes to participate in the event. Some are local, but others will fly in from Mid-Atlantic and New England regions. Seaplanes will participate in a variety of events, including a take-off contest, landing contest, and an air-to-surface drop, during which pilots will drop grapefruits on a buoy.
"Weather plays a big factor in determining how many seaplanes fly into Keuka for the event," said Quint, adding that the event is held rain or shine. "Even if Hammondsport has great weather, storms elsewhere may prohibit pilots from flying to the area that day."
The event also features a car show, open to any car built before 1998. Entries go through an approval process to ensure that they fit into the show's categories. This year's categories include American Classic, Foreign Exotic, and American Exotic.
"Expect to see some really old cars as well as unique and one-of-a-kind entries this year," Quint said.
Wings and Wheels culminates with an evening banquet that is open to the public and an opportunity to meet and mingle with the seaplane owners, most of whom attend the banquet. A silent auction will be conducted during the banquet. Registration for the banquet, seaplanes, and car show can be done online: wingsandwheelsehammondsport.com. Seaplane registration is free. Car Show registration is $20 in advance and $30 at the Festival. Banquet registration is $70 per person.
The event was originally called the Seaplane Homecoming and has been held since 2003, missing recent years due to the pandemic.
Sponsorships and revenue from the event, including the evening banquet, support the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum and also ensure the festival continues in future years.