By Carol Cali
From sunrise to long into the evening hours, there are infinite experiences to be had at the SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In and Expo, which takes place from Tuesday, April 2 to Sunday, April 7. In addition to the daily airshows, one can spend time perusing 200+ acres of new aviation products and services from manufacturers like Cirrus, BOSE and Lincoln Electric as well as distributors like Gulf Coast Avionics. There are PartsMart, Ladies Pavilion, Kid Zone, Drone Zone and more.
Each evening, the fun continues. You can cuddle up with your honey, enjoy some popcorn and watch an aviation-based movie in the campground among friends. For more action, check out the Corn Roast with nightly music entertainment. Let’s not forget the 300+ forums on all topics aviation as well as hands-on workshops, seminars, museum tours, a military swearing in ceremony; the list is endless.
The SUN ‘n FUN Fly-In has evolved into the largest fundraising event for the Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE). The rally cry of volunteers donating their time, expertise and sweat centers on knowing their efforts have a dramatic impact on the lives of 30,000 youth.
A volunteer’s contribution will fund a scholarship for another high school student’s private pilot’s license, another 10-year-old’s summer camp experience or build an exhibit in the award-winning museum preserving the legacy of aviation. The volunteers’ ‘how can I help you’ attitude makes the event’s 200,000 guests and 500+ exhibitors feel welcomed and appreciated.
Each guest receives a complimentary In-flight Guide that contains everything you want to know about the event as well as a pull-out map.
The www.flysnf.org website is also a great source of information leading up the event. Guests are encouraged to make use of the SUN ‘n FUN mobile app to schedule, find and enjoy all there is to offer throughout the six-day event. The mobile app will also have opportunities to win prizes throughout the week.
The daily airshows consist of performers who push their aircrafts to their limits. Aerobatics is something everyone loves to watch. Airshow teams like the Phillips 66 AeroStars, GEICO Skytypers and Aeroshell perform in unison, and individual performances fill the sky with skillful feats like Patty Wagstaff, Jeff Koontz and Jeff Shetterly. Many enjoy the various flights of warbirds. The Heritage Flight always stops the crowds in their place.
This year, the Cavanaugh Flight Museum Vietnam-era reenactment will be performed for the first time, complete with pyro and gun-runs. For military-lovers, the Viper Demo team will be roaring and the US Navy Blue Angels will be ripping across the sky.
Nothing beats the night airshows on Wednesday and Saturday. The Paradigm Team returns, showcasing the fun of ultralights. All-night airshow performers possess special talents…but what about 60 drones? The ‘Star Dance Spectacular’ debuts at SUN ‘n FUN and will light the night sky, followed by a dramatic fireworks display.
SUN ‘n FUN is located at 3200 Flightline Dr. in Lakeland. Visit www.flysnf.org/sun-n-fun-intl-flyexpo/activities/airshow/ for more information or to purchase tickets.