Rotaries Launch Wings and Wheels

By Ann Needle

Starting June 6, vehicle lovers everywhere can enjoy a weekly feast of cars, planes, motorcycles — and food — right here in Stow at Minute Man Air Field.

Sponsored mainly by the Rotary Clubs of Nashoba Valley, Acton-Boxborough, and Maynard, the inaugural Wings and Wheels event will launch at dinnertime each Thursday throughout the summer, offering another opportunity to get out and enjoy the summer evenings. Other sponsors include pilots’ organization EAA #196, Friends of Minute Man Air Field, and Nancy’s Air Field Cafe.

“Oh, I can’t wait, I think it will be a blast,” enthused Nashoba Rotary Club President Elect Laura Spear. Though Spear may be a bit partial to the plans, the odds favor a good time for area families and vehicle enthusiasts.

,    The drive-in/fly-in event invites antique car and airplane owners to drive/fly their vehicles in to Minute Man for display. While all cars are always welcome, each week will spotlight different makes: American, British, German, and Italian (see the accompanying schedule). Spear explained that each week’s featured cars will have a special display area, with all other cars in another space. The planes have their own grassy area for people to stroll around. And, by popular demand, Spear noted motorcycles have been added to the agenda, with a corner dedicated to bike owners.

Spear emphasized that vehicle owners do not need to RSVP for any of the 12 weekly events. When approaching the Air Field parking lot, spectators should park in the lot as usual, while participants should turn left and go through the gates. She smiled, “They get to show off their car on a dirt runaway, there’s plenty of room — they don’t have to worry about door dings.”

The food will be its own show of sorts. Nancy’s Air Field Cafe Owner Nancy McPherson will be spearheading the food selections for sale,  including – for the first time at the Cafe — brick-oven pizzas.  “She and [husband] Don have BUILT a brick oven! Nancy even flew out west and took pizza-making classes,” explained Spear.  For those preferring the summer classics, there also will be the family favorites, including burgers, hot dogs, ice cream, popcorn, and lemonade. And, adults can enjoy beer and wine as they stroll or relax, Spear added.

Admission Fee Optional
Open to everyone, Wings & Wheels won’t be charging admission, but the Rotaries suggest a $5 per person donation. Spear stressed, “We don’t want anyone to feel pressured.” But, she pointed out that all donations will be split by the three Rotary Clubs and applied to their many service projects. For the Nashoba Valley Rotary that serves Stow, these range from Rotary International’s mobile dental clinic in the Dominican Republic, to local activities it has sponsored for the Stow Council on Aging and Nashoba Regional High School.

The idea for Wings & Wheels came from brainstorming sessions conducted by the local Rotaries for new fundraising ideas, Spear said. She noted that the McPhersons offered to host the event, given the Cafe already was hosting many of Nashoba Valley Rotary’s meetings. One of the Nashoba Valley members is married to a race car driver, Spear explained, “So he’s got connections with quite a few of the more exotic car clubs.” And, Maynard Rotary happens to be involved with many of the local antique car clubs, she added. Spear said she also sent announcements for the event to the state’s 168 car clubs, plus airplane fly-in clubs.

If the long list of sponsors is any indication, Wings & Wheels could become a tradition. Among Stow sponsors are ET&L, Russell’s Convenience, and Ace Hardware. Spear summed it up as, “A good time in Stow, family-friendly, something to do in the summer.”

Featured Car Schedule
American    June 6          July11    August 8
British            June 13          July 18    August 15
German         June 20          July 25    August 22
Italian            June 27          August 1    August 29

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