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Runway Fest expects to draw thousands

The runway at Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport will be closed for the event.

Thousands of people are expected tonight at Runway Fest as Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport organizers shut down normal air traffic and open the grounds to the public.

The third annual event, scheduled from 6 to 10 p.m., will highlight much of what the airport, operated by the city of Dayton, has to offer while featuring a variety of entertainment options – including food, music and fireworks - for those who attend.

About 5,000 people came to the 2013 event and organizers are planning for at least as many at this year’s festivities, which will include airplane and helicopter rides, as well as live music and children’s entertainment, said Linda Hughes, public relations and marketing manager for the Dayton International Airport.

The band Roc-O-Sonics will provide live music and a pyrotechnic display is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. by Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks.

Admission and the attractions are free, organizers said, while food and beverages will be available for purchase, organizers said.

“Runway Fest provides an opportunity to give back to the community while showcasing a true regional asset for families and businesses,” said Terry Slaybaugh, director of aviation for the city of Dayton.

Slaybaugh’s department is teaming with Commander Aero and Aviation Sales Inc., both of which have locations at the airport, in working to organize the event with Miami Twp.

The event is “great for the community,” said Miami Twp. Trustee President Andrew Papanek.

“I think it’s a great event,” he said. “It gives us an opportunity to bring the community together to celebrate the region’s rich tradition in aviation.”

Runway Fest’s sponsors include Kelchner, The Connor Group, Ullman Schutte Construction and Caliber Jet.

Those who attend are strongly encouraged to park on airport grounds, thus avoiding any additional traffic and pedestrian issues along Ohio 741, Hughes said.

“We want to prohibit people from crossing 741,” she said.

Visitors can bring lawn chairs or blankets. No coolers, pets, alcoholic beverages or outside food or beverages will be allowed.

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