The enthusiasm was infectious.
Nebraska Airfest president Chris Amundson: "This is about celebrating aviation. Getting people full access to aviation. Getting them right there to be part of it, up front, meet the pilots, touch the planes, and have a lot of fun."
It's the first airshow of this kind for the Norfolk Regional Airport, and a few hours of morning rain couldn't keep afternoon crowds away.
Chris Amundson: "This morning we had a cold front pass through at our show time, ...was to start at ten o'clock; we actually got rain beginning right at ten o'clock. And so that delayed things a couple of hours. Really we just moved things back three hours. Worked out perfectly. Beautiful blue skies."
Thousands pulled up a chair and craned their necks to see historical aircraft in aerial acrobatics, a World War II dogfight re-enactment, and the U.S. Army "Golden Knights" parachute squadron.
It's fun, with a purpose.
Nebraska Department of Aeronautics' Ronnie Mitchell: "This brings aviation to the forefront of people's minds. This is just one of the ways to showcase aviation and show people that, hey, there are airplanes out here, there are great airports, and these are things we need to support to help the economy here in Nebraska."
If you go to the Nebraska Airfest, and if you're brave enough, you might be able to go up in one of the historic aircraft.
If you do decide to hop a flight, don't forget your earplugs.
Chris Amundson: "That Golden Knights airplane is really noisy. Big turbine jet engines on it."
The Nebraska Airfest will continue on Sunday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Norfolk Regional Airport.