Fancy feet and fine food featured at Hangarfest

September 28, 2011|By MARIE GILBERT |
  • Steve Springer flips his wife, Pam, as they dance at the 2010 Hangarfest, a fundraiser for Discovery Station at Hagerstown, in the Rider Jet Center at Hagerstown Regional Airport. The second annual Hangarfest takes place this Saturday.
Submitted photo

Band music echoes through the cavernous building, couples dance and mingle and vintage airplanes stand guard, tucked away in the shadows.

It might describe a film clip from the 1940s — a glimpse into life during World War II when a hangar dance boosted the spirits of the nation’s military.

But this time around, it will help boost funds for Discovery Station at Hagerstown.

Time travel is possible — at least for one night, when the second annual Hangarfest is held on Saturday, Oct. 1, at Rider Jet Center at Hagerstown Regional Airport.

The evening will feature performances by three local bands, dancing, catered food and an historic planes display.

All proceeds will benefit the nonprofit downtown museum, which offers hands-on learning experiences for children and adults. It also is home to the Hagerstown Aviation Museum’s exhibition of memorabilia, as well as historical and interactive displays.

Hangarfest is one of three major fundraisers held during the year to support the museum’s operating costs, said B. Marie Byers, president and CEO of Discovery Station.

Other fundraisers include a golf tournament with the Hagerstown Lions Club and Titanic Casino Evening.

“Grant writing and donations are not enough to support our monthly $8,000 lease-rent and $10,000 infrastructure of heat, light, air conditioning and insurance each year,” she said.  

Byers said Hangarfest was the creative idea of the museum’s board of directors, who knew that the museum needed another distinctive, successful fundraiser to continue its legacy.

“One of our marketing team members had actually attended a birthday party at the hangar and thought it was a unique place for an event,” said Pat Kelley, Discovery Station board member.

With some research and planning, Hangarfest became a reality.

Kelley said the event will feature live music by The Ray Birely Orchestra, Spectrum and The Rhythm Kings with Kim Tantillo.

There also will be high hors d’oeuvres catered by Applause Catering, wine and beer and unique door prizes.

Byers said two historic planes will be on display “for folks to see up close and personal,” including a 1928 biplane with canvas wings and the PT-19 built by Fairchild.

“Last year was our first attempt, and while we did not make a huge profit, we did have a good time,” Kelley said.

This year, organizers are hoping to sell 200 tickets.

“Hangarfest is a very important fundraiser for our four projected new exhibits,” Byers said. “We design and build our own exhibits with valuable community talent and energy, as well as donations and fundraising. We no longer lease exhibits that are extremely costly and have a short-term view for our visitors.”

Byers credits the “dedicated hours and energy of our all-volunteer staff” with Discovery Station’s continued success, as well as “the moral and financial support of community leaders,” the Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Nora Roberts Foundation.

If you go ...        

WHAT: Discovery Station’s Hangarfest

WHEN: 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1

WHERE: Rider Jet Center, 18539 Henson Blvd., Hagerstown

COST: $45 each

CONTACT: For tickets, call 301-790-0076 or 301-791-3246 or go to

MORE: Fine food, beer and wine, plus performances by Ray Birely Big Band, Spectrum, Rhythm Kings with Kim Tantillo. One free drink coupon with each ticket purchased. Must be 21 to attend. Business casual attire.

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