Christmas in the Air brings holiday joy

Katie Pulvermacher / Advance-Titan-- Christmas in the Air has become a holiday tradition for some families in the community, and has been held for nearly 40 years at EAA.

Katie Pulvermacher / Advance-Titan– Christmas in the Air has become a holiday tradition for some families in the community, and has been held for nearly 40 years at EAA.

Mattie Beck, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Santa didn’t fly his sleigh into Oshkosh for the annual EAA Christmas in the Air event last Saturday. 

It was fitting that he again came by helicopter to the EAA Aviation Museum for one of the aviation organization’s most popular community events last Saturday.

 The event has been held for almost four decades, according to EAA Communication Specailist, Drew Stephani. 

“EAA has held Christmas in the Air for nearly 40 years, ever since the museum opened in Oshkosh in 1983,” he said.  “For many years, it was held on a weeknight, but we found it works better for families on a Saturday during the day.”

The event took place all throughout the museum, with the main event being Santa landing a helicopter on the grounds. But people also came for food, entertainment and a chance to visit the museum free of charge. 

“We have holiday decorations throughout the museum. Several stages are set up where … local music, choral and dance groups perform,” Stephani said. “Visitors can also write letters for  [Santa] to take back to the North Pole, enjoy milk and cookies and discover more about the museum in a holiday-themed scavenger hunt.” 

Along with these activities, the day also featured a tree-lighting ceremony by Santa himself and a Sweet Shoppe that included milk and cookies presented by Festival Foods.

“One of the best parts is seeing how it’s become a holiday tradition for people in the Oshkosh area,” Stephani said. “Parents who came to the event in the 1980s and 1990s are bringing their families to EAA now. Santa’s arrival is always exciting as it brings so much joy to the children who attend. Seeing the museum fully decorated is also a great experience as it really helps get people in the holiday spirit.” 

The event also took donations of unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots and non-perishable food items for Father Carr’s Place. 

Besides Christmas in the Air,  EAA has other events in December with a holiday theme. For instance, during Story Time on Dec. 15,  EAA educators will read a story about winter flight and children will be able to make their own ornaments, Stephani said.

More information on all the Story Time events can be found at 

EAA will also celebrate the anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ First Flight, according to Stephani.

“We celebrate the anniversary of the Wright brothers’ first flight in 1903 every December at the Wright Brothers Memorial Banquet, which this year is on Dec. 9,” he said. 

For more information on other museum events, go to