SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In & Expo Honors Armed Forces With Free Admission, More

Staff Report

The 42nd Annual SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In & Expo, presented by VISIT FLORIDA and the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, will take place Tuesday, April 5 through Sunday, April 10 in Lakeland. Gates open daily at 8 a.m. with workshops and forums for all ages beginning at 8:30 a.m. Airshows begin daily at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 1:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday, weather permitting. Attendees will enjoy over 500 exhibitors, a Kids Zone, tours, displays, food vendors, car shows and more.

General admission rates for daily tickets are $37 for adults and $15 for youth ages 11-17. Children 10 and under are free. Weekly admission passes are $150 per adult and $60 per youth. Parking is cash only at $10 per day or $40 per week. Florida residents with photo ID can come back free on Sunday, April 10 with each admission ticket purchased on Saturday, April 9.

Honoring Our Armed Forces is the theme for the week and each day will be dedicated to a specific branch of the military. Active military personnel with appropriate ID will receive free admission Tuesday through Thursday and discounted admission Friday through Sunday at the gate. Retired military with ID will receive discounted admission Tuesday through Sunday at the gate.

“The Fly-In is our largest fundraiser of the year,” said President/CEO of SUN ‘n FUN, John “Lites” Leenhouts. “Proceeds from all events on the SUN ‘n FUN Convention Campus during the year support Aerospace Center for Excellence STEM education programs, including over $430,000 annually in scholarships for students pursuing aerospace and aviation careers.”

A major highlight of the week will take place at approximately 6:15 p.m. on Thursday, April 7 when a Flight to Honor will arrive, returning WWII and Korean War veterans from a special visit to the memorials in Washington D.C., along with much fanfare. Attendees are encouraged to stay on the grounds after the daily airshow to participate. Locals are invited to take advantage of free general parking after 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 7 only.

A twilight midweek airshow is scheduled for 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6. The evening program on Saturday, April 9 at 8 p.m. will include fireworks with a night airshow. Event attractions include improved and increased flightline viewing areas, daily autograph session with airshow performers, Thunder Alley Vintage Jet Display, Victory’s Arsenal showcase series, B-1 Bomber static display, and much more. Making its first appearance at SUN ‘n FUN will be the F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. More information can be found at www.sun-n-fun.org.