6 Things You Didn’t Know About EAA Air Venture

EAA Air Venture just celebrated it’s 50th year in Oshkosh, and the EAA brand and their flagship week long event have become an international brand that’s put Oshkosh on the map on a level akin to Oshkosh B’gosh. We’ve been hearing a lot recently about the massive economic impact of the event on Northeast Wisconsin. We’ve been watching the online word of mouth for the event build, and we’ve learned some things about EAA Air Venture you may not have known.

1. In July, outside of Wisconsin, the word “Oshkosh” literally means, “EAA Air Venture”

The event, and it’s seemingly obscure location in our amazing, quaint city of Oshkosh, has become a nickname for the event itself. Many people from around the country and around the world who have been coming to the event for a few years Tweet things like., “Oshkosh starts today.” People in their lives know this to mean, they are headed to EAA Air Venture

There were Tweets of people quoting their dads referring to EAA Air Venture as simply “Oshkosh.” If you say “I’m headed to Oshkosh” in any state that isn’t Wisconsin, and July is near, you can assume they’re going to EAA Air Venture.

Tweets about the 2019 event from around the world.

2. It’s the most attended aviation event in the world

EAA Air Venture has consistently brought in more than 500,000 visitors over the past few years. What makes EAA so popular? The event brings together programming and excitement for all ages and all aviation stripes. Since EAA is Experimental Aircraft Association, they bring in everything from commercial aviation, to historical, drones, model airplanes, personal aircraft, and even home built air craft.

EAA 2015. Credit: Wikipedia

3. The event started as a “fly-in” in Milwaukee

Although 2019 marked 50 years of the Air Venture event which came to Oshkosh in 1969, the event was seeded in Milwaukee in 1953, and it was called “EAA fly-in”. The event even moved to Illinois before settling in Oshkosh (I know… It hurts.)

A welcome sign at EAA. Credit: EAA.org

4. The fly-in manual before landing is 30 pages

Know as a NOTAM or Notice to Airman, the manual to read before flying in to Wittman Regional Airport is 30 pages long. They are landing over 10,000 aircraft over the span of the one week event, causing the air traffic control tower to be known as the “busiest in the world”.

A feature volunteer at EAA. Credit: EAA.org

5. The event attracts aviation loving celebrities

This year, 2019, Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins was a speaker at the event. Other aviation loving celebrities such as Harrison Ford have made stops into Oshkosh for Air Venture in the past.

Harrison Ford. Credit: Celebrity Diagnosis

6. Thousands of volunteers make the event happen

In 2018, there were over 5,000 volunteers. The event regularly uses more than 4,000 volunteers to make the show happen.

The air traffic control tower at EAA. Credit: ArtifactsJournal.com

These are some interesting things we found in our research! EAA Air Venture’s 50th year was an amazing show as always. A bonus, more commonly known Air Venture fact is the economic impact of the event, over $100,000,000 in Northeast Wisconsin. What was the most surprising fact to you? Did I miss any?

15 Touristy Things to do in The Fox Cities

If you live in the Fox Cities or are driving through, many people don’t give the Fox Cities credit for all the reasonably priced activities in the area! We composed a list of the more established things to do in Appleton, Menasha, Neenah, Oshkosh, and surrounding area that would interest tourists and locals alike.

1. Paper Discovery Center

The Fox River is Paper Valley! Many large corporations like Kimberly-Clark for example originated in the Fox Cites. In memory of this history, the Paper Discovery Center was developed right off the Fox River and Downtown Appleton. If you are visiting or live in the Fox Valley and want something unique to see, to bring your kid, or show a friend who is visiting, this is a unique spot.

2. Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass

Head to Neenah for a unique museum experience! If you are looking for things to do in Neenah, this is one of the big attractions that is certainly a new experience. The museum has different exhibits all the time!

3. Appleton History Museum

With revolving exhibits, and the constantly evolving exhibits of Appleton’s history and Houdini, this is a great activity in the Fox Cities for any age!

4. Building for Kids

If you are looking for something to do in the Fox Cities for kids, this is the crown jewel. The Building for Kids features interactive, educational fun! Multiple stories of construction, factories, grocery stores, airplanes, play land, and more! Check it out in Appleton!

Kids learning at Building for Kids in Appleton
Kids playing at the interactive Building for Kids in Appleton. Credit: FoxCities.org

5. Hearthstone House

The Hearthstone House is a gemstone in any city. Hearthstone is the first home independently powered by hydroelectric power using the Edison System. We talk about it here as well. It is always cool to have a first in innovation, and Appleton back in the late 1800s had a lot of promise as a city. Visit the Hearthstone House to learn more about Appleton history.

6. Fox River Mall

A big local hang out spot in the Fox Cites, the Fox River Mall attracts people from all over Wisconsin. So if you are visiting for EAA, Mile of Music, or any local event, check out the mall if that is your cup of tea.

7. Fox Cities Performing Arts Center

The Performing Arts Center (PAC) is a world class venue that brings tons of unique shows to the Fox Cities. World class shows like Mamma Mia, The Lion King, and The Book of Mormon come to the PAC in cycles, and it is worth checking out if you can get the opportunity.

8. Oshkosh Grand Opera House

Much like the PAC, the Grand Opera House in Oshkosh is historic and world class. Slightly smaller shows frequent “The Grand,” but there are plenty of unique and reasonably priced shows to make it worth checking out the historic theater.

9. Weis Earth Science Museum and Barlow Planetarium

If you go to the local community college you will find more than local students saving money. You will find the Weis Earth Science Museum and the Barlow Planetarium where you can find unique science exhibits and awesome seasonal light shows!

10. EAA Aviation Museum

EAA stands for Experimental Aircraft Association, and they put on the largest airshow in the country for a week! Every summer over 100,000 people come to Oshkosh for the EAA Airventure event, so you can imagine the museum is pretty special.

Inside the EAA Hangar
Part of the EAA Museum in Oshkosh, WI

11. Paine Arts Center and Gardens

With rotating art exhibits and outdoor gardens and events, “The Paine” is a great place for tourists to experience Northeast Wisconsin in a unique way! Here you will find their events and exhibits

12. Menominee Park and Zoo

Menominee Park is Oshkosh’s crown jewel as far as parks go. A huge spot of land with a lot of lake shore on Lake Winnebago. Plenty to do including the beach, trails, huge playgrounds and massive trees. The park also includes a zoo! If that’s not enough you can also rent kayaks or water bikes.

13. Take a Party Bike Ride with The Social Station

Mega bikes or party bikes are vehicles that are pedaled by a group of people. Very unique and new to the area, The Social Station offers tours, pub crawls, and exercise expeditions to anyone in Appleton! Book here.

Party Bike Group
A group after a group ride on The Social Station.

14. Oshkosh Public Museum

Across the street from The Paine Arts Center is a historic Oshkosh home near the Fox River. There exists the Oshkosh public museum with awesome changing exhibits. The Oshkosh Public Museum is a one of many reasonably priced things to do in the Fox Cities for tourists and locals alike.

15. Take a Segway Tour

Segways are cool!.. Right? Book a segway tour and learn about the local history and hotspots in Neenah, Appleton, or Oshkosh. Click here to book a tour!

Conclusion

The Fox Cities has many awesome resources for the public, including many outdoor things to do. For now, this will get you started for planning your next visit to Appleton, Oshkosh, or Neenah! If you want to find events, outdoor treasures, and other things to do in Appleton and the Fox Cities, follow our Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube channel. Thank you for reading and let us know in the comments if you ended up trying any of these.