Sun ’n Fun Holiday Fly-In Features STOL Livestream

A balloon launch and aircraft displays will fill the skies at the Sun ‘n Fun Holiday Flying Festival. Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo

If you’re planning to be in central Florida later this week, you have the opportunity to test out one of the industry’s first live events, specially designed to follow current pandemic restrictions. The Sun ‘n Fun Holiday Flying Festival and Car Show takes place on December 4 and 5 in Lakeland, Florida, and pilots can attend in person or virtually. A STOL competition is planned, as is a visit from the Blue Angels.

The new event plays off of the popular Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo, which was cancelled in April 2020. Organizers invite pilots to fly or drive in to visit for the day—or to camp in an RV or tent. Airplane camping was available, but has been sold out. More than 200 aircraft have already registered.

Activities begin on Friday, December 4, with a STOL competition all day—which will be delivered to virtual visitors via livestream on Flying’s Air Show Hub—and an evening airshow and balloon glow, along with vendors and other community activities.

On Saturday, December 5, the day starts with the Sun ‘n Run Airport 5K at 7 am, and continues with a balloon launch, car show, and afternoon airshow—with the USAF F-35 Lightning II and F-16 Viper demo teams, and the US Army Black Daggers Parachute Team. An Aviation Town Hall at 10 am features Mark Baker, president and CEO of AOPA; Jack Pelton, president and CEO of EAA; and Sun ‘n Fun’s own John Leehouts. Santa flies in at noon—kids are welcome, and they can bring their own letters for delivery to the North Pole.

Parking is $20 and entry is free to the event—and aircraft flying in park for free too. The event is meant to preview the April 2021 Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo.

Based in Maryland, Julie is an editor, aviation educator, and author. She holds an airline transport pilot certificate with Douglas DC-3 and CE510 (Citation Mustang) type ratings. She's a CFI/CFII since 1993, specializing in advanced aircraft and flight instructor development. Follow Julie on Twitter @julieinthesky.

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