August 2, 2014 - As one would imagine, preparing the Oshkosh convention grounds for AirVenture, maintaining them throughout the week, then cleaning up afterwards is an enormous task.
But this year, the normal tear-down will need to accelerate significantly, as another very large event is scheduled to take place here—and soon.
The International Pathfinder Camporee will be here August 11-16. What’s more, another event, the Great Lakes Timber Professional Association’s Logging & Heavy Equipment Expo, is slated to take place here September 5-6. There’s a lot to do and not much time to do it.
Steve Taylor, EAA’s director of facilities, has been down this road before.
“In 2005, we had the convention, then the Pathfinders Camporee, and then the Great Midwest Outdoors Festival, all in a row,” he said.
“It’s flattering that outside organizations come to us due to the quality of the grounds EAA members have created. Plus, having outside groups utilize the facilities helps us fund further improvements to the grounds we all can enjoy at AirVenture.”
Immediately following the conclusion of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014, work begins on tearing down the site and preparing it for the 45,000 people—mostly children—expected to be here for the Pathfinders. In fact, the organization has already staged some of its equipment on the grounds so it can begin setting up right away.
The last time Pathfinders held its event here it funded a well in Camp Scholler that’s available for all to use.
As for the event itself, EAA staff offers some support, which makes for challenging timelines not only to prep the grounds but to get the airport back into normal operations.
No matter who approaches EAA and asks to rent use of the conventions grounds, Taylor assures everyone that EAA and the convention always comes first.