Wings, Exhilaration, and Rockin' Runways
We have all heard those familiar words for the end of March, it roars in like a lion with cold, piercing winds, rolls on, drawing spring more near; and, finally goes out like a lamb. March is an amazing month! Winter’s frigid blanket is pulled back, the sun’s warmth, a long awaited sensation, embraces Mother Earth, and long days beckon each of us to take in the beauty found throughout this wonderful area of Florida. For many, Wings Over Flagler, an annual event held the final weekend of March, is not only a celebration of the coming spring, it is a harbinger of the many exciting events that contribute to the uniqueness that is, Flagler County.
Wooden propellers, blades of steel and sonic engines combine to fill the skies with a unique, crystal, blue persuasion that is the hallmark of any airshow, the rumble of the planes. From a single-seated cockpit to a B-17 offering rides throughout the day, Wings Over Flagler provides pilots and those who dream of soaring day-long adventures. Aircraft line the runways, like soldiers who await full inspection. Brilliant reds, blues, yellows, and silvers seamlessly wrap around the metal aero-bodies to create shiny atmospheric acrobats. They slowly taxi down the runway. As their speed increases, they gently slip the bonds of Earth, spread their wings, ascend toward the heavens; and, in the words of Van Halen, climb higher and higher. The sky is filled with series of loops, up-lines, spins, and falling leafs, complete with deployed flares.
Warbirds, returning from the North, along with L-39 jets, streaking across the Gulf Stream, become gladiators of the celestial azure and end the day with a mass formation flyover as the final notes of the Star Bangled Banner echo from below. With hands across hearts, emotions held at bay in throats, and eyes wisped with a few tears, feelings soar as the last of the silver-winged artists glide slowly into the setting sun. The history of air travel is told in such a way, words are not needed. Army helicopters remind us of the many brave rescues completed. A Red Baron style, single engine prop plane recalls the significance of air-power; while an aircraft named, Spirit of Freedom, a C-54 used during the Berlin Airlift, reminds us all of the freedom afforded by so many who flew that last mission. Wings Over Flagler is more than an airshow, it is an aerial experience enhanced with earthly traditions, like memorable music and fabulous food.
The three day event, which begins on Friday afternoon and ends on Sunday afternoon, offers music that allows the hippie in all of us to come out and jam! The admission price, which includes discounts for the military, Veterans, and seniors, allows attendees to return all weekend, as long as hands are stamped. Food and drink, from the four corners of the planet, are but a few steps away from any of the activities. Water, lemonade, soft drinks, coffee, and even adult beverages, along with burgers, bar-b-que, fries, ice cream, and funnel cakes are just a sampling of crowd favorites found. Bounce houses and face-painting help keep the kids energized and entertained. In addition to food, vendors, skydivers, plane rides, and airways filled with songs and sounds provide for a plethora of entertainment.
Music is offered each day and this year did not disappoint. A combination of local and tribute bands filled the air and rocked the runways with vibes from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. Music commemorations for Stevie Ray Vaughn, played by Chris Hiatt, sparked the musical tributes on Friday. With each passing hour, those flames were fanned by Category 5, a local Flagler County group, Those Guys, a salute to the Allman Brothers, Led Hed, honoring Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven”, Bon Jovi hits, a toss to the 80s hair bands; and, finally, a bonfire with glowing guitars, deep-cindered bass, and sizzling drums raged with Never Stop Believin’, an impressive homage to the band, Journey. Voices and vibes ignited screams from fans of all ages! Fans were left shouting for more; and, more they received. Saturday night ended with a magnificent fireworks display, a wonderful tribute for all of the efforts required to bring such an amazing show to Flagler County.
Wings Over Flagler has something for everyone. Pilots from around the country converge on the Flagler County Airport. It is a chance for them to show off their pride and joy and share air stories. Local sponsors literally take over the runways to bring the best of aviation airshows, music, food, and local vendors to this part of Florida. Residents and visitors find numerous ways to enjoy the day. Spending the day listening to music, walking the runways to see and touch each plane, stopping at each vendor tent to check out an array of merchandise, soaring through the air in a helicopter, B-17, or a Tri Motor, and snapping instant memories with a Nikon, Kodak, or iPhone are but a few of the many ways to spend the last weekend of March. In Flagler County, March does not go out like a lamb; rather it arrives like a screaming eagle.
Event: Wings Over Flagler
Presented By: Mills Aviation Charities
Date: Last Weekend of March (please check for future events)
Location: The Flagler County Airport
Bunnell, FL 32110
Event Time: 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm Friday
10:00 am to 9:00 pm Saturday
10:00 am to 3:00 pm Sunday
Admission: $12.00 Adults
$ 5.00 Kids age 5 and over
Parking: $5.00 Airport Parking – Proceeds Benefit Local Charities
Free Parking and Shuttles from Flagler Palm Coast High School
Social Media: Wings Over Flagler - Facebook