Annual Benzie County Airshow to Entertain Hundreds of Visitors Saturday, August 26 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Thompsonville Airport

Posted on August 23rd, 2017

Benzonia, Mich. (August 23, 2017) – One of the biggest events in Benzie County will take place this Saturday at the Thompsonville Airport, 13531 Lindy Rd.,
Thompsonville, Michigan 49683, located northeast of M-115 and South Pioneer Road. The event, which in the past has brought in over 1500 spectators, will feature hi-tech model airplanes, some that fly over 100 miles per hour with wing spans that range in size from one foot to six feet.

Close to 70 pilots from all over Michigan are expected to attend, bringing their high-tech model planes that are powered by methyl fuel or electric charged batteries. Over 100 planes will be seen in the air during the five-hour event which will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Model planes flying will include biplanes, WWII fighters, jets, and helicopters.  During the event, Thompsonville Airport will be closed to allow the planes to fly off of the airport’s paved runway.

“Pilots come from all over the state of Michigan to be in this airshow”, says Ed MacIntosh, one of the oldest members of the Benzie County Club B.A.R.C. (Benzie Area Radio Control). B.A.R.C. club is composed of 40 members who are a part of the National Chapter of the Academy of Model Aerial Aeronautics. The annual B.A.R.C. airshow helps raise money for maintaining the Thompsonville Airport and also has benefited the Wounded Warrior Project in the past.

McIntosh says. “Bring your own chairs and come for the show. This event is excellent family entertainment and is free. My advice is to come early.” An awesome pyrotechnics show, kid’s candy drop from a model plane, hot dogs and refreshments will be available and there will also be a Car show on site.

Another popular event this weekend in Benzie County is the Benzie Fishing FrenzyAugust 26 – 28. With over $25,000 in cash and prizes, this fishing contest in Frankfort at Mineral Springs Park is open to anyone. There are three Divisions – a Ladies Classic on Friday and Big Fish Only, Amateur Division, and Pro Division on Saturday. For more information see or call (231) 352-7251.

Late Summer is an excellent time to get away to Northern Michigan’s Benzie County when lake water temperatures are at their warmest.

For more information about lodging choices in Benzie County, including cottages, cabins, inns, motels and condos see For assistance with lodging choices, call the Benzie County Visitors Bureau at 800-882-5801. Through October 31, 2017 visitors who stay at participating lodging locations for 2 consecutive days or more are eligible for the “Benzie Treasure Trove” Vacation Package. The “Benzie Treasure Trove” Package has a value of $300, which includes multiple free gifts, two-for-one offers and more.

To learn more about the “Benzie Treasure Trove” and to sign up online to participate, see

General Information about Benzie County

Benzie County is a perfect vacation getaway with friendly towns and villages such as Frankfort, Elberta, Honor, Thompsonville, Beulah, Benzonia, and Lake Ann plus the majestic Crystal Lake. Benzie County has spectacular beaches along the majestic Crystal Lake and Lake Michigan, over 100 miles of biking and hiking trails, and great restaurants and shops. Perfectly situated along the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Benzie County has nearly 30 miles of Lake Michigan coastline, 57 inland lakes, approximately 200 miles of rivers. Outdoors activities in the spring, summer and fall include fishing, golfing, biking, hiking, running, kayaking, paddle boarding and more.

Benzie County is only 130 miles north of Grand Rapids, 235 miles north of Detroit, 290 miles north of Chicago, 295 miles north of Fort Wayne and 380 miles north of Indianapolis. Plan a couple of days or more and get a true flavor of the relaxed pace and exquisite natural beauty of Benzie County.

Family & Kids Activities in Benzie County

Warm weather months draw families with children to Benzie County due to the lovely beaches along Lake Michigan and beautiful Crystal Lake and the hometown charm of Benzie County’s friendly villages and towns. With over 50 lakes and two rivers in Benzie County, families can experience fishing, boating, kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding. Kids programs are offered at the Elizabeth Lane Oliver Art Center in Frankfort and the new children’s activity center COGnition in Beulah. Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville offers many children’s programs for guests who stay at the resort and to visitors who pay a fee for activities such as an elevated rope and zip line course, a large pool for older children, a wading pool for toddlers, and mountain biking, golf and paintball courses for teens. Visitors who are adventurous can try Crystal Mountain’s Crystal Coaster Alpine Slide, an action-packed thrill ride on one of its ski mountains. And the relaxing Crystal Spa is wonderful for parents who want to get away from the hustle and bustle and enjoy a luxurious spa service.

Sports and Recreation in Benzie County

Benzie County is known as “the best place in Michigan for Outdoor Sports & Recreation.” Outdoor activities cater to a wide variety of sports and recreational interests including biking, hiking, running, golf, fishing, kite boarding, kayaking and more. Championship level to intermediate and beginning golfers have plenty of choices at area courses which boast natural beauty and magnificent scenic views. There are locations for renting golf clubs, bikes, kayaks and other recreational equipment, as well. Beaches along Lake Michigan and Crystal Lake, one of the largest inland lakes in Michigan, are among the most beautiful in the state of Michigan. Benzie County and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore have over 100 miles of hiking and biking trails and wildlife habitats for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Among these, The Betsie Valley Trail that spans from Frankfort, in the North, through Beulah and Benzonia to Thompsonville, in the south, has 22 miles of paved and compacted aggregate trail.

Winery, Breweries, Distillery tastings and Culinary Offerings in Benzie County

Four unique beverage producers are excited to share their products with visitors to Benzie County. The popular Stormcloud Brewing Company in Frankfort offers their own unique award-winning selection of Belgian-style craft beer, select ciders from the region, as well as, great food. St. Ambrose Cellars in Beulah offers award winning wines and meads and antipasto plates to enjoy them. Iron Fish Distillery in Thompsonville that opened in fall 2016 is Michigan’s first dedicated full line distillery located on a working farm offering a line of locally produced spirits including bourbon finished in maple syrup barrels, Michigan wheat white whiskey, Michigan white rum made with a touch of Benzie County produced honey, and Michigan winter wheat vodka. Lake Ann Brewing Co. in Lake Ann, the casual rustic “upnorth” brewery, focuses on making ales using American ale yeast & Pacific Northwest hops. They specialize in craft beers, as well as local ciders, mead & wine. They have a light snack menu, but you can order from the eatery just steps away & have it delivered to your table at the brewery. All four places are a unique tasting experience and worth the exploration across beautiful natural areas of Benzie County to wet your whistle.

After a day outdoors in whatever activity suits one’s fancy, enjoy one of many unique restaurants in Benzie County to make the experience complete. Among many locally owned restaurants, food is hearty at Stormcloud Brewing Company, Coho Café, Villa Marine Food and Spirits, The Hotel Frankfort and Dinghy’s Restaurant and Bar in Frankfort, The Cabbage Shed in Elberta, The Cherry Hut, L’Chayim Delicatessen, Cold Creek Inn and Hungry Tummy Restaurant and Bar in Beulah, Crystal Café and Roadhouse Mexican Bar and Grill in Benzonia, Platte River Inn and Papa J’s in Honor, the Thistle Pub and Grille at Crystal Mountain, and Geno’s Sports Bar and Grill in Thompsonville. Benzie County also has two food trucks – Grow Benzie and Mary’s Asian Cuisine that travel to various locations throughout the summer and fall.