Airport Open House features aerial displays, vintage fighter planes, ‘Big Jimmy’ and more
Aerial displays, vintage fighter planes, tours and the Big Rig Truck Show are part of the features of Ramona Airport’s 54th annual Open House on Saturday, Sept. 24.
Cal Fire’s “Big Jimmy,” a 1939 GMC fire truck built for the La Mesa Fire Department, was recently discovered in a vineyard in Northern California where it was used as a water pump for grapes.
The fire truck is back in San Diego County, and a dedication ceremony for “Big Jimmy” will take place at 9:30 a.m. at the open house. The vehicle will call the Ramona Airport home and will appear in parades and at school visits.
“Big Jimmy represents homegrown ingenuity and a strong commitment to fire protection,” said Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who represents East County on the board of supervisors.
The open house runs from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and there will be plenty to see and do.
Visitors can tour the airport’s traffic control tower, the Classic Rotors Helicopter Museum, the U.S. Forest Service’s Helitac Base and Cal Fire Air Attack Base.
A free shuttle service is available from the main parking area to those stops. Parking is free and food will be available. A pancake breakfast will start at 7 a.m.
“There’s something for everyone at our open house — tours, a crafts fair, games for the children, and the big rig truck show,” said Bo Donovan, Ramona resident and airport manager. “This is a great family event showcasing our airport, and it’s free.”
The “Tricked-out Big Rig Truck Show” will feature more than 30 customized new and vintage trucks, including Peterbilts, Kenworths, Freightliners and others.
Ramona Airport, one of the county’s eight community airports, also serves as the joint firefighting air attack base of Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service.
Cal Fire started flying fire missions out of the airport in 1957, making it the state fire agency’s oldest air attack base.
The airport’s flight schools and businesses will be open during the event.
Ramona Airport is at 2926 Montecito Road.
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