North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Kids learn about aviation

Children enjoy free flights, activities at Arlington's Airport Appreciation Day


August 30, 2017 | View PDF

Christopher Andersson

Local Peyton Sparks, left, gets to see the cockpit of Martin Pointon's plane while it is on display at the Arlington Airport Appreciation Day on Aug. 26.

Kids got to take to the air and got a close-up look at the various airplanes at the Arlington Municipal Airport during the annual Airport Appreciation Day held on Aug. 26.

The Arlington Municipal Airport holds the event each year to invite the community to come see the airport and provide fun activities for kids.

The EAA Young Eagles program, a volunteer group that aims to help get kids interested in aviation, provides free flights for kids at the event each year.

There are also crafts, face painting, airplane displays and other aviation-related fun for families during the day.

Marty Wray, operations manager for the airport, said the event helps make a connection with the community at large.

"It's a good opportunity for people to come out and spend a day at the airport for people who may not even know the airport is here, and even if they do, they get a chance to see what kinds of things go on around here," said Wray.

He said that it's good to show people where many of the local airplanes are headed to after the public sees them flying overhead.

"The airport is a real important, vital piece of the whole infrastructure, so it's good to get people to come down and see it," said Wray.

Wray said that this year's event was going well. "It's going great and we've been flying a bunch of kids."

Community members said they enjoyed bringing their kids to the event.

"It's great, and great for the kids," said local parent Josh Donaldson.

"This is a really fun community event just to bring the kids down to," said Andrea Vanwerven.

Paul and Sarah Gorman are new to the area and said they enjoyed coming to the event for the first time.

"We were cruising around yesterday looking for a house, and park to play in, and saw a pop-up sign celebrating this event and thought this would be the best way to spend the day," said Paul Gorman.

"Between the helicopter and the fire trucks and safety apparatuses Kieran [Paul's son] is exceedingly happy," he said.

Many of the attendees also enjoyed the community feel of the event, said Wray.

"It's such a great little small-town kind of event," he said.

"I think people like the fact that it's small, locally-based, local pilots, local exhibits, even the food and vendors are local," he said. "It's very much an Arlington thing."

Sarah Gorman said she was happy that her new community seems to be so close-knit.

"I love that there's so many community partners here. It's really great having just moved here to see that there really is a community here and a feeling of home and family," she said.

Christopher Andersson

Timothy Donaldson, left, gets buckled in for his free EAA Young Eagles plane flight at Arlington Airport Appreciation Day on Aug. 26.

EAA Young Eagles member Kevin Hoirup helps inform kids about planes and safety before they head up, and said he has a lot of fun at aviation events like the Airport Appreciation Day.

"I love this event. There's two events I do with the kids, this one and the one in Paine Field, but this one is much more personal. I really like coming down here and it's nothing but fun for the kids," he said.

The event is sponsored by a number of local organizations including Arlington Municipal Airport, the Arlington Fly-In, Castle and Cooke, Arlington Flight Services, Biringer Farms, Universal Aerospace, Global Machine Works, Civil Air Patrol, Jersey Mike's, Costco, EAA and local pilots.

Many of those organizations provide funds to supply the airplane fuel which allow the Young Eagles to provide free plane rides.

More information about the Arlington Municipal Airport is available at the city of Arlington's website at


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