In late April every year, the Flagler Airport transforms into something quite unique: Wings Over Flagler. This annual event was completely unique and fun for the entire family. The best part is that it didn’t break the bank and there was plenty to do and see.
We recently missed the opportunity to checkout the NSB Balloon & Sky Fest the month previous, so I jumped on the opportunity to take my little guy out for some fun at the airport. He’s at that great age where everything is amazing and he’s constantly looking up at the sky searching for airplanes, so this was a great event to check out.
Now before I tell you all about our experience, the actual name of the event is Wings Over Flagler – Rockin’ The Runways. That’s because this event is much more than just an air show! So we had a boys day at the airport, with three generations of the men in my family. We were geared up for the sounds of propeller planes, the sights of exhaust trails, and the smell of jet fuel in the afternoon!
When we arrived at Wings Over Flagler, we had the choice of preferred or FREE parking. Usually I would bolt for the free parking, but we had a mobility scooter with us, so we went for the preferred parking. It was only $5, and was really close to the airport. If you choose the FREE parking at Flagler Palm Coast High School, a FREE shuttle bus is provided to the event. After the fact I noticed they were handicapped friendly so we could have taken the scooter on it, but $5 for parking wasn’t a bad deal.
The event promoters were kind enough to sponsor not only my family but some lucky ticket winners as well! Admission was only $10 for adults, and kids under 10 were FREE, so the Wings Over Flagler event is a very frugal value if you have younger kids. This is a two-day event, and admission is per day so you may want to check their site to get the best entertainment value for your money. Hand stamps were provided for readmission on the same day. If you wanted to pack a picnic lunch in your car this is a lunch friendly location.
Walking through the gates of Wings Over Flagler, we were expecting a few planes, and an air show viewing area. What we found instead was a mixture of an air show, carnival, food truck event, community outreach, and educational experience like no other! Featured at the vent were rows of community business that were educating visitors on everything from car audio equipment to hydroponics. It was great to see how a community came to gather at a single event like this. We worked our way through the rows of vendors and stopped to check everything out. There were even car and RV dealers. In fact I fell in love with a new RV, and had a chance to talk to few sales guys without the pressure of walking onto an RV lot. It was pretty cool.
Ok so back to the aviation aspect. We would really like to thank the crew of the Flagler County Air Rescue group. They not only had their helicopter on display, but let people actually sit in the cockpit! Some air shows charge for that sort of thing, and my little guy seemed to really enjoy it. I think he’s still too young to really understand that the helicopter actually flies through the air, but it was neat for him non the less. We also found out the Flagler County has a bit of a hybrid approach to their helicopter service. Being one of only a handful in the country, their helicopter is specially equipped for search and rescue, medical transport, and even fire fighting! The pilot and flight crew were awesome to talk with, and even snapped a few photos for us.
Throughout the afternoon visit to Wings Over Flagler, there were air demonstrations going on! Many of the planes that just a few minutes before were happily on display on the tarmac, were flying through the air doing rolls, loops and more. It was pretty cool to see something right up close, then BAM!, flying through the air. All along the runway, people were setup in their very own lawn chairs just relaxing and watching the world fly by. Kids were sitting in blankets, enjoying the sun and the festivities.
After awhile we started getting a bit hungry and decided to check out the food options. There were lots of food vendors, with plenty of delicious looking options. Pizza for $2 a slice, hotdogs for $3, BBQ and more! There were a handful of local restaurants with booths but we decided to get a hot dog. Unfortunately my little guy dropped his so we switched to pizza. We always carry bottled water with us in his diaper bag, so we just cracked a few open and enjoyed our impromptu lunch under the wing of one of they planes sitting on the tarmac. Remember this is an active airport, and there isn’t much shade.. Trees and airplanes generally don’t mix.
Did I mention the main entertainment? The Wings Over Flagler Rockin’ The Runways featured a host of musical tribute bands throughout the day and the line changes annually. The stage setup was pretty impressive, and they sounded great! If you’re going to checkout the tunes, you’ll probably want to bring your own lawn chair as seating is limited. The stage is set right on the pavement so pack a think blanket if that’s more your style.
On one side of the festivities, was a rather large kids area filled with inflatables and bounce houses! Remember young kiddos are free to enter, but if they wanted to participate in the bounce house fun there was a $5 charge. We are starting to see this trend more and more at festivals, and while I’m not quite sure how I feel about it, the cost at Wings Over Flagler was at least reasonable. I’m guessing that by charging additional for kids areas it allows parents the opportunity to make decisions on the fly, as some kids aren’t all that info the inflatable stuff. I’m sure it also reduces the overhead costs to the festival as well.
Although we didn’t stay until the end, the Wings Over Flagler Rockin’ The Runways culminated with what I’m sure was an awesome fireworks display! We love to see fireworks but we had other plans that evening. Because of the wide open airspace and un obstructed views, I’m sure almost anywhere at the event offered great views.
Overall, we would certainly recommend the Wings Over Flagler event to families not budget. There was such a variety of things to do and see that you could easily spend an afternoon relaxing, listening to music and watching airplanes fly by. Stay all day and enjoy a fireworks display before you head home for the night. What could be better?
Again, special thanks to the Wings Over Flagler Rockin’ The Runways for hosting us for the review as well as our ticket winners! We look forward to seeing how this annual event grows in the coming years.
Wings Over Flagler – Rockin’ the Runways Details:
|Address:||5500 E Hwy 100 Palm Coast (FPC High School FREE PARKING)|
|$5 or FREE||$10.00||Kids
Under 10 FREE
For A Family of 4:
(Assuming Two Young Kiddos & Free Parking)