Drone festival

Woodward will host the inaugural Thunderbird Drone Festival Aug. 13-14.

Event Director Chris Castor said this exciting event promises fast-paced fun for adults and children alike with events such as drone races and a drone expo, where those interested in the technology can find out how to purchase a drone, learn how to become a drone pilot and discover multiple uses for drones.

Another part of the festival is the Thunderbird Drone Film Festival where attendees can experience a drone film festival awards reception and view many short drone films entered from pilots all over the world.

"(It's) a great way to experience the beauty and scenery from many other countries," Castor said.

The festival promises a rapidly growing technology, drone film and drone FPV racing footprint in Oklahoma, according to Castor, himself an international award-winning drone pilot and filmmaker.

"Thunderbird Drone Festival has attracted A-list speakers and sponsors, such as nationally known drone expert, best selling author and drone war fighter Brett Veilcovich, Aerial Data Acquisition Specialist Dillon Payne of the Noble Research Institute and premier drone video platform company Airvuz," Castor said.

The festival on Saturday, Aug. 14 will be at the Industrial Warehouse (former Siemens Building) by the West Woodward Airport.

It will feature fun drone demonstrations for children, food trucks, technology booths, event t-shirts and will be all indoors, said Rachael Van Horn, director of Woodward's Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

"The event will have something intriguing for everyone," Van Horn said. "Whether you have just been curious about drones, have a dream to own or fly one or just want to attend a family friendly and exciting event, this is the event for you."

To get a look at what you might see at the festival go to Thunderbirddronefestival.com and click on the video. The festival page also includes a schedule of events.

Everything starts on Friday, Aug. 13 at the downtown Woodward Arts Theatre.

"We are so excited to have the Thunderbird Drone Festival Film and Scavendrone portions of the festival at the Woodward Arts Theatre," said Laurie Steenbergen, director at the theatre. "Like the Twister Alley International Film Festival, it puts our beautiful little theatre on the radar of people from literally all over the world."

Steenbergen noted the collaboration between the festival owners Castor and Nathan Holliday and Woodward Tourism, High Plains Technology Center, Woodward Industrial Foundation and others to host Oklahoma's first drone festival.

For ticket information go to thunderbirddronefilmfestival.ticketleap.com/thunderbird-drone-festival. Children under 12 are free but you need to order a ticket for your child anyway. No one without a ticket (lanyard) will be permitted to enter. Children under 14 need to be accompanied by an adult.

For more information about how to be added as an expo vendor, call Rachael Van Horn at 580-256-5990.



Friday, Aug. 13

At Woodward Arts Theatre

6 p.m. - Doors open

7 p.m. - Film festival

Saturday, Aug. 14

Industrial Warehouse (Siemens Building)

9 a.m. - Drone Expo Opens

10 a.m. - Speaker panel featuring keynote speaker Brett Velicovich.

Noon - Sky High Shootout FPV races.

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