Sun ‘n Fun returns after 2020 cancellation

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110403-N-DI587-272 LAKELAND, Fla. (April 3, 2011) Cmdr. Dave Koss, flight leader of the U.S. Navy flight demonstration squadron, the Blue Angels, calls for smoke before take off at the Sun ‘N Fun Air Show as part of the 2011 show season. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Rachel McMarr/Released)

Jameson Champion

The annual aerospace expo Sun ‘n Fun has officially announced that it will be making its return this year after last year’s cancellation due to COVID-19.

Scheduled to take place between April 13 and 18, this year the event will be entering its 47th year in operation. Last year marks the first time the event has been cancelled, as in previous years events would be rescheduled due to inclement weather and other circumstances.

As part of the return of the event, new COVID-19 protocols have been put in place to avoid the spread of the pandemic. 

According to their COVID-19 policy, masks will be required in all indoor locations on the expo campus while they are strongly recommended in outdoors locations. Sanitization will also be increased throughout the event. These policies were tested in December at Sun ‘n Fun’s first holiday flying air show.

Many Lakelanders and FSC students alike are interested in the event’s return because it is one of America’s largest air shows and features famous air squadrons like the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds.

“I would be interested in attending Sun ‘n Fun,” freshman Rachel Williams said. “I don’t commonly study that facet of technology so it would be cool to see what they have to offer and what I can learn from the event.”

Sun ‘n Fun and its expo campus are also a part of an education initiative in Lakeland for Kathleen High School as part of the Central Florida Aerospace Academy (CFAA) program, allowing high school students to get firsthand experience in aeronautics.

The CFAA is part of a larger philanthropic initiative sponsored by Sun ‘n Fun, the Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE). The ACE program and its staff provide educational services like summer camps and outreach programs to students with an interest in aeronautics. According to Sun ‘n Fun,  ACE also helps with education support and provides scholarships to students in the field of aeronautics, spending $2 million annually.

“I personally don’t go, but it’s a good chance for the CFAA kids to go and learn,” Lakeland resident Jacob Balaguer said.

There have been concerns expressed about air shows and the potential for pollution they create because of airplane emissions. 

“I object to air shows because they’re essentially epicenters of waste and pollution,” sophomore Abigail Torres said. “I wouldn’t spend my money supporting that.”

Tickets bought for last year’s event can still be redeemed at this year’s Sun ‘n Fun expo. The event will be taking place at Lakeland Linder Airport’s Sun ‘n Fun Expo Campus, general admission is $45 per person.

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