The pandemic has put a wet blanket on in-person events in this challenging year, but aviation enthusiasts can satisfy their appetite to socialize (safely) with fellow pilots at the Holiday Flying Festival and Car Show on December 4 and 5 on the Sun 'n Fun Expo campus at Florida’s Lakeland Linder International Airport.
The event will feature numerous aircraft displays, a short-takeoff-and-landing (STOL) competition, a night airshow, a balloon launch, a large airplane and car show, live music, and other activities.
Santa Claus will take some time from his busy holiday schedule to make an entrance. His flight plan has him landing in time for a noon appearance on Saturday, December 5, when he will collect mail from boys and girls at the show.
AOPA President Mark Baker will join Sun 'n Fun/Aerospace Center for Excellence President and CEO John Leenhouts and Experimental Aircraft Association President, CEO, and Chairman Jack Pelton in a General Aviation Town Hall session on December 5. The AOPA-sponsored event will provide a unique opportunity to interact with notable industry leaders who will discuss the state of GA.
During the STOL competition, 125 pilots flying five classes of aircraft will compete to achieve the best short takeoff and landing performances, with $12,500 in cash prizes and a chance to achieve a national ranking.
The Sun 'n Fun Aerospace Expo is the main fundraiser for the Aerospace Center for Excellence, a leader in science, technology, engineering, math, and aerospace education through its various learning centers, outreach programs, summer camps, and scholarships. Proceeds from the Holiday Flying Festival and Car Show will go to the center.
Event organizers have promised an “over-responsible” focus on safety in Lakeland. Attendees and event staff will be properly distanced on the grounds of the airport, with an abundance of sanitizing stations.