AirFest, MacDill Air Force Base's almost annual open house, draws hundreds of thousands of visitors to the base. Little wonder, given the exciting military exhibitions in the air and on the ground at the festival, which is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are this year's headlining team, and will be the stars of the skies over Tampa both days from 3 to 5 p.m. The featured jump team is the U.S. Special Operations Command Parachute Team, made up of volunteers from the Air Force, the Army, the Navy and the Marines as well as civilians. They'll participate in the 9 a.m. opening ceremonies, and will put on their full show at 2:40 p.m. both days. Check out www.macdills
airfest.com for a detailed schedule (remembering that it's all subject to change), as well as images and information on the many aircraft and performances you'll see.
GET THERE: MacDill Air Force Base is 8 miles south of Tampa. From Interstate 275, take Dale Mabry south to the base's main gate. The MacDill gate, at the end of MacDill Avenue, will also be open.
HOURS: Gates open at 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday; get there early to avoid long traffic lines. Once all parking lots are full, you must park off the base and walk in. No entry to the base is permitted after 3 p.m. on show days.
ADMISSION: Free, as is parking.
DO BRING: Protective clothing, sunscreen and hats (there's very little shade out there). Consider ear plugs (it gets loud). Beach chairs and blankets are permitted and encouraged, as are binoculars and cameras.
DO NOT BRING: Remember, this is a military facility, so security is a priority. No coolers, glass containers, alcoholic beverages, weapons, large tote bags or pets (other than service animals) are allowed.
MORE INFORMATION: (813) 828-7469 or www.macdillsairfest.com.