Fly-In Breakfast history

CRESCO - One of the first flight breakfasts took place at the Ellen Church Field airport dedication on July 13, 1975. The Cresco Jaycees served the breakfast at a cost of $1.50 for those 13 and over and $1.00 for those under.
The breakfast was served from 7-11 a.m. After that, hotdogs and pop were on sale until 5 p.m. In addition to food, a dedication ceremony was held and a nine-member Minnesota state parachute club was expected to perform.
More than 75 planes flew in and out and several thousand locals attended.
The following year, the Cresco Flyers Club sponsored another breakfast. The tickets were used for hourly drawings for free plane rides throughout the morning. In addition, rides were given for two-and-one-half cents per pound, with a minimum of $2.00 per flight.
The next fly-in breakfast held in Cresco is the granddaddy of the current event. That one was co-sponsored by the Cresco Flyers Club and the local Chamber of Commerce in 1982. Its goal was to establish a fund to support an Air Lifeline operation, based at the Ellen Church Field in Cresco.
The funds were to be used to supplement the costs of flying for volunteer pilots. Forty years ago, the cost per flight hours was $45 to maintain a private aircraft.
[Started in 1978, Air Lifeline was a volunteer, non-profit association of private pilots, physicians and others who provided air transportation for medical personnel, human replacement organs, equipment and more. There was no charge for the service. The Cresco Flyers belonged to the association.]
The 1982 event had hundreds of attendees, over 60 planes and raised $750 for Air Lifeline. In the early years of the annual breakfast, area merchants donated toward free breakfast and airplane ride tickets.
By 1987, Cresco’s fly-in breakfast was thought to be the largest event of its kind in the state.
For the first time, in 1989, the Fly-In Breakfast joined the Art Show (which is the oldest continually-run show in Iowa) on the first Sunday of August, combining the two activities.
In 1997, the 36th Annual Art Show and 16th Annual Fly-In Breakfast morphed into Three-in-One Sunday, when the 8th Annual Cruize to Cresco was added to the schedule. The Cruize was moved from the last Saturday in September to the first Sunday in August.
Some more changes took place 10 years later in 2007, when Ag Fest, Three-in-One Sunday and other events were fused to become Cresco Fest.
Another change took place the next year, when Norman Borlaug Harvest Fest was the new event for Cresco, taking place in September. The (now) Cruise to Cresco followed Harvest Fest, while the Fly-In Breakfast and Art Show stayed on the first Sunday of August, where they have stayed.

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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