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Come Celebrate the World of Flight at the Arlington Fly-In

This family-friendly community event offers up-close views of hot air balloons, biplanes, and other aerial craft— all in a festival setting.

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If you ever wanted to see the inside of a biplane or talk to the pilot of a plane she built with her own hands, you’ll soon get your chance. On August 16-18, you can get up close and personal with the flying machines that have captured your imagination since childhood at the annual Arlington Fly-in.

At the origin of the weekend-long celebration is the legacy of a shared love for the world of flight. Generations of aviation enthusiasts have traditionally congregated at the event since the summer of 1969, when the Arlington Airport was chosen as the place for people with home-built planes to come and celebrate their community together.

Now drawing nearly 60,000 people each year, the Fly-In is the third largest event of it’s kind in the United States and is as visually stimulating as it is awe-inspiring. With eye-turning RC exhibits, vintage aircraft from the golden age of aviation, and “warbirds” from the Second World War, there is a favorite for every admirer and a story behind every favorite.

Such strong bonds are formed at the Fly-In that the event is a natural choice for couples to exchange vows, giving birth to a new generation of participants.

Kids can go wild in bouncy houses, learn to fly a drone, or see the inside of a hot air balloon as it’s being inflated. This year three whimsically-shaped hot air balloons named Tick Tock, Speedy Bird, and Butterfly, are sure to excite parents and children alike.

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After the sun goes down, watch a movie in the outdoor theater, enjoy a picnic while listening to live music, or take in the breathtaking display of earthbound hot air balloons lighting up the grounds during the annual Balloon Glow.

While the grounds support dry-camping only, all campers have access to shower facilities and a fully serviced food court with food trucks and local vendors open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

A weekend pass is $40 for those arriving by car, while pilots who fly in pay only $20. Minors 15 and younger get in free.

In the off-chance that you’ll want to leave, there’s a free shuttle downtown where you can support the community of Arlington or discover more of what Snohomish County has to offer.

If you can’t wait until August to get a taste of the Fly-in spirit, you’re in luck. Over 400 volunteers work year-round to make the Fly-in happen. And there’s always room for more at their weekly worker parties, enjoyed in the same vein as the weekend fly-ins and spaghetti feeds that first gave birth to it over 50 years ago.

You can also visit the Flying Heritage Museum in nearby Everett, which brings two or three planes of their own to the Fly-in every year.

Start counting down the days now and know that whatever your flight of fancy you’ll find new passion for the world of aviation and become part of a rich tradition in the process.

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Arlington Fly-In

4700 188th ST NE
Arlington, WA 98223
(360) 435-5857

Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum

Paine Field
3407 109th Street SW
Everett, WA 98204
(206) 342-4242

Source: Barb Tolbert, Executive Director of Arlington Fly-in and Mayor of Arlington

Shari Shephard