By Anne Eickstadt

ANNE EICKSTADT PHOTOS Belvidere Republican
The new ‘Create your own…’ area in the Vintage Wings and Wheels Museum is fun family friendly activities where, today, you can make a paper airplane and try to fly it through a hoop.


The Museum, 5151 Orth Road, Poplar Grove, had a great opening week. On April 28 they had a members’ preview with 82 guests. May 1, a class of aviation maintenance students visited, and on May 2 there were 75 fifth graders from Caledonia Elementary School on a field trip. Saturday, May 4, was their official opening to the public. The Grilling and Chilling cookout sold out, and they had 156 visitors come through the Museum.

The wonderful turnout for Museum’s opening day had lots of families, many discovering the museum for the first time, and the food sold out.

Our wonderful volunteers made the day extra special: Steve Cavaliere, Mary Conklin, Pamela Lopez-Fettes, Tom Foster, Connie Fowler, Leah Kays, Mikayla Koch, Steve Osseck, Stephanie Plourde, Steve Plourde, and Cindy Starzyk. And of course, Museum Staff Mike Frederiksen and Trudy Konopka. Trudy couldn’t be there but she organized the whole event and made everyone’s job easy. Numerous small planes flew in to visit as well.

A number of the museum exhibits have been revised, updated, and become more interactive. “We wanted to address the guest experience and enhance it with better display boards, improved exhibits, and raise the game for the guests,” said curator Mike Frederiksen.

Kids and adults can touch more exhibits and their new children’s area has fun activities for the family to enjoy. A new ‘Pathfinders’ activity begins bear the entrance to the museum. It presents several aviators, which are spotlighted by the exhibits. Each aviator is connected to two or three exhibits and visitors will be able to connect each person to other events in history that occurred during their time period.

The Aeronca Chief plane has been under construction for years. It has become the museum’s first sponsored exhibit and everyone who has had anything to do with it is invited to participate in the official exhibit opening on…

For complete article, pick up the May 9 Belvidere Republican.

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