The Traditions of AirVenture

With over 600,000 people attending the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration every year for the past 50 years, it is easy to guess that many traditions have developed for everyone. Some of these traditions can be on the personal level that only you and your family participate in, some can be unique to where you happen to camp on the grounds (the coffin in the woods….), and others that can include yearly activities that are put on by EAA and the companies that attend.

Now that I think more about it, and I’m sure it’s like this for many of us who are regular attendees, but AirVenture is basically a weeklong tradition with many smaller rituals that take place within. No wonder the week is so special to us all. It is, of course, the Spirit of Aviation – the airplanes and gathering of friends, that defines AirVenture. However, it’s the shared memories and, ultimately, the developed customs that occur each and every year that make EAA AirVenture Oshkosh the greatest week of the year. Sorry, Santa.

My Dad and I share many traditions over the week at AirVenture. But the one that sticks out the most is how we conclude our week. Every year we receive our weekly wristband passes that we wear for the entire week. However, at the conclusion of AirVenture, we always get out a couple of Spotted Cow beers and have a wristband cutting ceremony. We have a moment of cheers with our drinks to the success of another incredible week, talk about all the excitement we experienced, and then go through the ceremonial act of the cutting of the wristbands. 

It’s just one of many traditions for us that makes the entire week so special.

Now, rather than going on about other rituals we practice throughout the week, I thought it would be great to hear some of your favorite traditions as well. Please share them with us either on Facebook or Twitter. If you don’t have accounts on either, then you can email me directly at With your permission by sharing your story on Twitter, Facebook or by email, I will include it in the next State Aviation Journal magazine. Plus, I will also retweet your stories on Twitter if you use that platform and share it that way.

So, what is one of your favorite traditions that takes place during AirVenture?