The crew that put on the Yellowstone International Air Show featuring the US Navy Blue Angels in Billings last summer took home a couple of big awards in Vegas.

Jake Penwell and Matthew McDonnell were the co-chairs for the air show in Billings and were in attendance at the International Council of Air Shows in Las Vegas recently. They took home a first place award for "Legacy Media Advertisement," and a second place award for "Most Innovative Air Show" in the small show category.

Congrats to Matthew and Jake and their whole team and volunteers that put this thing on. It was the first time these two Billings boys had ever put on an air show, and these awards are recognition of their incredible work. I talked with several people who attended the air show in Billings and have been to other air shows across the country- they said this was the best one they've ever been to.

Jake Penwell and Matthew McDonnell, two longtime friends from Billings, co-chair the planning committee for the Yellowstone International Air Show. Jake was moved by seeing the Blue Angels as a kid in 1988, and was inspired to join the Navy. Since then, he's wanted to bring an airshow to Billings that would do the same for the younger generation today. (As Rachel Helgeson wrote back in December of 2021 when the big news was announced that the Blue Angels put Billings, Montana on their show list)

Photo of McDonnell, Penwell, and former Blue Angel pilot "Thumper" is below:

Credit Aaron Flint/ Rachel Helgeson/ Getty Images/ Canva
Credit Aaron Flint/ Rachel Helgeson/ Getty Images/ Canva


For those who missed the show, or our coverage. Click here for highlights from the 2023 International Air Show in Billings.


2023 Yellowstone International Air Show in Billings, Montana

After over 20 years since the last air show came to Billings, the Yellowstone International Air Show returned and brought an amazing show!

Gallery Credit: Josh Rath

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