ARLINGTON – While the traditional acts certainly had their fans at the 50th Annual Arlington Fly-In, the newbie was the crowd favorite.
Mayor Barb Tolbert, who also directs the Fly-In in her spare time, said Wednesday that, “People got very loud Saturday night,” during the Drone Light Show, a colorful digital fireworks-like performance. She said she could hear them from the Hot Air Balloon Glow area even though she was at the runway hundreds of yards away.
“We’re bringing it back,” she said of that show.
The scripted 15-minute show had an aviation theme. It featured three kites that morphed into three hot air balloons that turned into a biplane that rotated 360 degrees. The show, which took place about 400 feet in the air, also featured a heart with a plane flying through it, aerobatics and ended with a waving flag.
Tolbert said people seemed to like the new layout of the event. “It was easier to get around,” she said.
Visitors also enjoyed the drone cage, especially the boot camp that taught folks how to fly them. “It was very busy,” she said.
As always, the balloon glow, with help from the band Split Personality, and the air shows were big. Acrobatic pilots like Vicky Benzing and dad Bud and son Ross Granley wowed the crowd with their stunts and how close they seemingly flew next to each other. The historic Cascade Warbirds and planes brought by the Flying Heritage Museum like the Tallahassee Lassie were also favorites.
Not to be outdone, many visitors also enjoyed Camp Adams, with its wide array of military vehicles, including tanks. A Kids Area with simulators and games was popular with the youngsters. Everyone enjoyed the food booths and Street Fair that included a variety of items for sale. Tolbert said overall she thought the event was a success. “I’m exhausted but pleased,” she said.