For residents of Tampa who've been around for a while, the air show at MacDill Air Force Base has been a major attraction through the years. This year, the tradition lives on with AirFest scheduled for March 22 and 23.
For those who aren't in the know, AirFest is a free event. All you need to do is make your way to MacDill for a weekend of fun, thrills, and excitement for the entire family.
There's a long list of performers who'll take to the skies with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds at the top. Watch as they wow the crowd with their aerial finesse. The U.S Special Operations Command Parachute Team, GEICO Skytypers Airshow Team and Melissa and Rex Pemberton's Skydiving show add to the excitement.
Also at the show, see aircraft on display such as the KC-135 Stratotanker and aerial displays including Rob Holland in the MXS-RH and Mike Goulian in the Extra 330SC and DAV B-25. This is your chance to get up-close to some of the best in air transport.
The fest draws thousands of spectators so plan to arrive at the base as early as possible. If you can park elsewhere and take the city bus, you won't be stressed over limited parking issues available at the base.
If you choose to drive, the Dale Mabry gate will open at 8am both Saturday and Sunday. Keep in mind, once the available parking on base is full, you can only enter if you're walking or on a city bus.
Those with military ID cards, distinguished visitor passes, or residents of base housing can use the Bayshore Gate beginning at 4am.
Since you'll be outside for extended periods, it's suggested you bring sunscreen, sunglasses, a cap or sun hat, and earplugs, especially for those with sensitive hearing. It's also important to stay hydrated, so bring a couple of bottles of water.
Coolers, glass containers, or large bags are not allowed or any alcoholic beverages.
To stay up-to-date on AirFest, check the MacDill website for more acts and performances being added to the agenda.
Have fun and remember the sky’s the limit!