Airfest 2018 Returns to MacDill Air Force Base
The Tampa Bay Air Fest is back at MacDill Air Force Base and is set to kick off this weekend. I had the privilege of getting a preview. This year’s free event is Saturday and Sunday from 8 AM to 5 PM. Officials expect over 100,000 aviation aficionados and curiosity seekers. So, if you go, pack some patience. The only entrance available to civilians is the Dale Mabry gate, which typically starts stacking up around 6 AM even though the gates do not open until 8:00 AM. If you want to sit in air-conditioned comfort while someone else does the driving, HART is providing a special route from Britton Plaza to the fest, with buses leaving every 15 minutes. If you choose this option, you should probably also arrived early as parking spaces will fill up.
On Sunday, May 13, from 9 AM to 1 PM at the Surf’s Edge Club there is an Air Fest Mother’s Day brunch ($20.95 per person). Everyone is welcome, and no reservations are required.
Prepare for the heat. It gets hot out on the flight line and there is little cover. This year however they are providing for more food trucks and drink stations. Take a hat, some water, and some sunscreen. As you might imagine no drones, weapons, glass, or umbrellas allowed.
If you have not experienced the might and muscle and machinery of the United States Military up close, this is a must see. Headlining this year’s show is the US Navy Blue Angel’s fly their FA-18s and are joined this year by F-22 and A-10 demo teams. For a complete list of the aerial and static (on the ground) demonstrations, go here