First Annual Community Appreciation Day Wraps Up

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The First Annual Community Appreciation Day has wrapped up and we hope to host it again next year! To see all that's happened, be sure to read on!

The Visitor Appreciation Day was an exciting time in the Black Hills, full with family-friendly events, ranging from EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) displays, to fun walk-throughs of a planetarium, everything wouldn't have been possible without the help from all of the volunteers. We extend our thanks to everyone who pitched in to help, especially those from Ellsworth AFB, our members, our veterans and the Journey Museum.
The moment visitors entered the gate, they were presented with all the aircraft  and the visual treat of all the events underway. The official start time for the event was 10:00 AM when the EOD displays and demonstrations began inside the museum. In another museum gallery, visitors could explore the universe in the planetarium. A "make & take" model station for everyone to enjoy constructed WWII aircraft nearby.
|Later  in the morning, visitors were treated with book-signings held by local authors. The same authors who wrote many of the aviation and history books available in the museum. Authors such as SD historian Norma Kraemer, who wrote "South Dakota's First Century of Flight" were present. Speaker presentations were given by Ed Mcgaa, Chuck Childs, (One of the Berlin Airlift Candy Bombers!), Chuck Ellington, (a museum docent), and others over a variety of topics. Visitors could learn about B-1B Operations Systems, the Cold War, gunships, and more through the presentations in Gallery 3 from 10:00 to 1:00.
Outside the museum, intriguing military events were being held. K-9 units from Ellsworth AFB came out to give a demonstration at 2:00 pm. The dogs practiced takedowns and runs. These same excercies are designed to train the dogs on stopping mobile suspects. There were also firetruck demonstrations in the main driving circle of the museum's outdoor airpark. The EAFB Fire Department gave tours of their trucks and fire equipment.
The EOD department brought out a Humvee and gave tours of the vehicle to the public right next to the B-1B.
After finishing their indoor demonstrations, docents from the museum gave free guided walking tours of the aircraft outside to anyone & everyone.

Lunch was served at the event: underneath a shady canopy, volunteers sold "Hot Dog Pilot" meals to our visitors. These volunteers worked hard, and all of the proceeds from their labor go to support the SD Air & Space Museum, one of the top things to do in the Black Hills.

The Ellsworth AFB and Minuteman II silo bus tour, a dilay occurrence at the museum, was also offered on this exciting day. Many took advantage of the bus tour before returning for the rest of the event. Visitors took this tour and saw Ellsworths sights including the Base Exchange, the Commmissary, and who could forget the guided tour underground into the Minuteman II missile silo. While on the bus tour, some of our visitors were lucky to witness a B-1B take-off and flyover. The take-off added a nice touch to the entire atmosphere of the event, making it that much more exhilarating.
Overall, the event was a success, it went through without a hitch, and we're glad everyone could make it to the museum for the event. Our warmest and deepest thanks goes to all of our wonderful volunteers, workers, active duty personnel, and members.
And, most importantly, this event was to say to our visitors and community as a whole: THANK YOU FROM THE SD AIR & SPACE MUSEUM!

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