Parade of Planes

                in San Carlos, CA


two women standing in front of a plane

More Fun with Friends

13-December-2003  Regular readers who are in the know will remember hearing of the Parade of Planes in Palm Springs. I am pleased to report that today, at 9:30AM, San Carlos entered that short list of towns that let airplanes drive down main street - or Laurel street to be more precise. 

It was an overcast, cool morning. We were downtown by 8:30 - our usual weekend coffee time - and I had a chance to walk through the staging area while she picked up a package at the post office. The planes were hosting a number of friends and family for photos and chit chat. Young civil air patrollers were peering into cockpits and wondering when they would get to fly one. 

I was surprised at how small some of these planes are. One notable example barely came up to my belt buckle. It was the Chihuahua of airplanes. (Luckily it didn't yip or I would have been tempted to kick it in the tire.)

The early tour over we went back to the Coffee Club Too for warm drinks, the newspaper and a seat. The street was lightly populated and we listened to one of the regulars pooh-pooh the show. "Oh sure, they'll get 5000 people - 5000-4500! ha ha ha". I guess he'd heard that the city was shooting for a 5k crowd. It didn't look good.

Then, with only 15 minutes to show time, people came out like ants from a disturbed nest. The street got real busy, real fast. The Grinch had to keep quiet as the sidewalks got crowded. All of a sudden his seat in front of CC2 was obscured by others standing at the side of the road and he had to get up to get a good view. I counted 80 people in our little part of the street. Trying to estimate the whole crowd, I think there might have been 3000-4000 people. That's pretty good.

Eventually there was a fly over of a bi-plane and a ww2 fighter. Then came the bagpiper, fire trucks, the Harley Davidson club, the old cars, and finally the airplanes.

a kit built airplane colored grey

The staging area. This is a kit built plane.

teen boy in camouflage looking into the cockpit of a small red plane

I think he wants to fly a Pitt.

Red Barron type airplane in the parade

This one is a tail dragger.

kit plane running down the street

Another view of the kit plane.

man walking next to airplane wing, with parade crowd in the background

See how close the wings get to the crowd.

red stunt plane driving down the road in a parade

They say this little guy has 100 horse power and can go 200 mph straight and level. Wow.

It was a great little show. It brought a lot of locals to the downtown. Thanks to the Hiller Aviation Museum for putting on the show. I hope we do it in the future. For that matter, I'd like to see the San Carlos City Council close off Laurel street one Sunday morning each summer month. It would be a great time for families to wander up and down the street. Maybe even ride their big ol' cruiser bikes around with the tykes on trikes. It would be a great way to build a sense of community.