Once again the Tucumcari Airshow was named the Airshow/Event of the Year by the New Mexico Municipal League earlier this week.
According to Roger Makin, communications coordinator of the New Mexico Municipal League the Tucumcari Airshow won the honor “based on community involvement, variety of activities, public notice and management efficiency.”
Makin said the Tucumcari airshow typifies what an airshow should be and many larger communities could learn a great deal from the airshow in Tucumcari. One of the driving forces behind the airshow, Bob McClelland Jr. of the Tucumcari Rotary Club said he was elated that the event had been recognized once again. He felt that credit needs to be given to a number of different groups and individuals deserve recognition for putting on the airshow including the Rotary Club, the sponsoring organization.
“I think it was great we (the airshow) got this honor,” said McClelland, “but an awful lot of this credit goes to Steve Stephenson. He and his people deserves so much of it because they are back in the trenches slogging away making sure everything runs well. They do so very much.”
Tucumcari City Clerk Rachel Hicklin agrees with McClelland regarding Stevenson but says a great deal of credit should also go to McClelland and the Rotary. “The Rotary Club does a great job at putting it together. They have done a wonderful job,” said Hicklin. “And Steve Stephenson and the people out at the airport; they’re just great.”
Stephenson said he felt “quite honored” to receive the third plaque for the state’s top airshow that the Tucumcari airport has garnered. However, he said he feels that the honor has to be shared with the community in general and more specifically the Tucumcari Rotary Club for all of the support that was provided for the show. “It takes quite a bit of work a lot of credit goes to the Rotary Club without their support it could never have come off.”
McClelland said his is not only honored by the recognition the Tucumcari Airshow was given by the municipal league but a little surprised that the airshow could pull it off with the pull-out of the Blue Angels flying group from the event.
“Yeah, it was pretty great we got this especially when you consider that the Blue Angels pulled out,” said McCelland, “but it will be even better this year with the Snowbirds (the precision flying group from Canada).” For his part, Stephenson is looking forward to the upcoming airshow also with the recognition it can bring Tucumcari and the plaques it can bring the airport. “I want one every year!” said Stephenson. Other airports or personnel in the area receiving awards from the Municipal League included Las Vegas’ airport receiving the award for most improved airpot and Steve Summers the airport manager for the City of Clovis who received the “Career Contribution to Aviation” award.