The Story of Us. Together, we make great things happen.
EVENTS 10 ACRES ADDED and coming at ESTRELLA WARBIRDS MUSEUM The Estrella Warbirds Museum continues to expand, recently adding nearly 10 acres to the west - adjacent to their existing property - at 4251 Dry Creek Road in Paso Robles, now taking them to approximately 20 acres. The City of Paso Robles initially charged the Warbirds $1 per year for a 40-year lease on the existing facility, with 15 years now remaining. Adding the additional 10 acres, and keeping the parcels in synch, results in a renegotiated lease through 2047. On the new site, they’ll have multiple buildings of approximately 85,000 square feet to display aircraft under roof dedicated to WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam aircraft plus memorabilia and displays spotlighting aviators of the periods. “The goal is to get our planes inside to preserve them. Being out in the weather and the hot sun really takes a toll,” said Warbirds Board President Ren Stelloh. “We have several pilots wanting to display their fine aircraft but we’ve had to turn them away because we don’t have indoor display areas left … this will solve that BY BOB CHUTE concern and greatly expand our collection of unique aircraft. We’ll be able to bring our C-47 indoors. We will be developing the facilities in phases as funds become available.” The museum will have a new 12,500-square-foot Convention Center, ‘Aviator’s Hall.’ It will be set on high ground to afford views of the Warbirds Campus, a 25x100 foyer with memorabilia, and the hall will include partitions to allow the public to rent all or separate portions. It will have a commercial kitchen on the west end to serve events. “The museum will truly be a campus-like environment including outdoor seating areas as well,” said Stelloh. “We’re very excited about this, we’ll be able to host more fly-ins and additional car displays and events.” The infield will be made of porous asphalt to meet state water retention requirements. The current dining facility, Thomson Hall, will be converted to house more displays for the museum. Plans are to donate a half-acre of the new property to be dedicated for the construction of an Aviator Memorial, similar to the Veteran’s Memorial in Atascadero. The museum has been getting more popular as a tourist destination over the last several years, Mike Levine, Warbirds PIO, “We were the No. 1 attraction on tripadvisor[.com] after a few of the vineyards [ahead of other museums, etc]. Just checked and there are six vineyards ahead of us and we are No. 7 on the list of things to do in Paso.” HOPING FOR SCHOOLS INVOLVEMENT With this expansion they’re hoping to get involved with area schools, possibly through the SkillsUSA program. “We have some incredibly talented individuals with experience on the front lines during war time working on restoring our displays over the years since this museum started in 1992 — preserving our history — but we’re slowly losing these veterans. It’s time for the younger generation to step up and learn these lost talents from the best … electrical, hydraulic systems, engine repair, and so much more.” Donations are always welcome, “Come out to the museum to see what we display proudly preserving our history. We can always use volunteers as well as financial donations to our 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.” For additional information, call 805-238-9317 or visit ewarbirds.org. $100,000 GRANT FROM HEARST FOUNDATIONS The Estrella Warbirds Museum recently received a $100,000 grant from the Hearst Foundations to help support ongoing operations as the museum continues to grow its collection and expand its footprint, thanks to the recent approval by the city of Paso Robles to double the museum's existing acreage. This generous grant will help the museum meet this challenge, and continue to serve as a most popular cultural and educational destination for the Central Coast community, and for visitors from the United States and other countries. Founded in 1945, the Hearst Foundations reflect the charitable interests of William Randolph Hearst. They identify and fund outstanding, best-in-class nonprofit organizations that achieve truly differentiated results relative to other organizations making similar efforts. NEW ACTIVITIES PLANNED FOR WWW 10 ON MAY 12 On Saturday, May 12, Estrella Warbirds Museum will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the original Warbirds Wings & Wheels event, first held on May 9, 2009, when it was decided to hold an Open House with the added attraction of a vintage and classic car show and thousands of people attended. The following year, Dick Woodland opened the Woodland Auto Display on site. In 2016, the event was immor- 58 PASO Magazine, March 2018
ewarbirds.org talized when Dennis Gage featured Warbirds Wings & Wheels 8 on his nationally syndicated television show, "My Classic Car." Gage returns in 2018 as special guest host for WWW 10…and Ron Berry, featured on “My Classic Car” will be bringing his wild cartoonish “SurfSeeker,” an incredible VW Micro Bus. Participants, visitors from all over California, and world-renowned race car drivers, automotive designers, builders and enthusiasts have attended over the years, including such notables as racing legends Parnelli Jones, Bobby Unser, HotRod designer Bones Noteboom, Blackie Gejeian, TV personalities and others have been special guests or supported the event. New this year will be a vintage tractor display as well. MEGA SWAP MEET The Mega Swap Meet will feature new and used street rod parts; vintage auto, race car, vintage motorcycle and vintage tractor parts, hit and miss engines, petroliana collectables, automotive art plus much more. Swap Meet registration information contact Wayne Bloechl at 805-460-9181 or online at ewarbirds.org. THOUSANDS OF VISITORS EXPECTED There will be plenty of FREE parking for visitors adjacent to the grounds at 4251 Dry Creek Road in Paso Robles. WWW10 will be held from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. A $5 donation to the museum includes entry to the car show, Mega Swap Meet and all museum buildings will open at 10 a.m. The Food Court includes vendors, the Firestone Walker Beer Garden plus great prize drawings. Fun activities include: • First time at Warbirds! The coolest nostalgia happening around the country — CACKLEFEST — Historic Top Fuel Front Engine Dragsters vs NASCAR Racers line up with their engines running. Check it on YouTube, the audio doesn't do it justice. This is something you should definitely experience. • NEW State of the Art Flight Simulator with huge screen and the ability to virtually fly any aircraft… Piper Cub to F-18 to 747 to Space Shuttle over virtually any landscape! Got to see it! • New this year — Corn Hole Tournament — open to all ages. Adult league (12 & over) cost is $50 per team (2 per team — $70 day of event). Youth League (Under 12) cost is $20 per team (2 per team — $40 day of event). Cash prizes up to $1000 will be awarded based on a 60-team sellout. $50 Cash prize for Best Team Costume. Cash prizes for Adult League, trophies for Youth League. Preregistration is recommended. • Plus for the kids! Bounce houses, face painting and many other activities in the Kid Zone. FRIDAY NIGHT PARTY The Friday night dinner and barn dance features Monte Mills & the Lucky Horseshoe Band, reservations are required. CAR SHOW PARTICIPANTS Car show participants can sign up now for $40 entry fee that includes: 2 all access wrist bands, T-shirt, goodie bag, dash plaque, photo of your car with a Warbird plane and event poster. Special drawing limited to car show participants only — one ticket per entry — 1st prize - $600, 2nd prize - $400, and 3rd prize - $200. For information contact Carol Verstuyft at 805-674-3939 or online at ewarbirds.org. BOX BEAMS BOOK SHELVING March 2018, PASO Magazine 59