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

Fly-In comes to Arlington


Airshows, aircraft displays and balloon glows, among other activities, will return to the Arlington Airport this July as the Arlington Fly-In returns for its 50th year.

The Fly-In is one of the largest aviation events in the state of Washington and will be held from July 6 to 8.

Tickets are $17 per person while kids 15 and under can enter for free. During the night the cost to enter is $20 per car.

The entrance to this year’s event will be slightly different, but is still off of 188th Street.

Barbara Tolbert, executive director of the Arlington Fly-In and mayor of the city, said she is excited to celebrate 50 years of the event.

“It shows that there’s an established customer base and people keep coming back,” she said.

“We’ve had a lot of people contact us that have been in years past but not lately because they moved away, and they told us they’re coming back in celebration of the 50th year anniversary, particularly people who have volunteered or been involved in past years,” she said.

This airshows this year will be at 7 p.m. on July 6 and 2 p.m. on July 7.

Modern and historical aircraft displays will be available throughout all days of the Fly-In.

Last year was the first time the Fly-In held a hot air balloon glow, which Tolbert said was popular and will return this year.

“The balloon glow on Saturday night will double from last year, so it will be six balloons” she said.

During the glow, balloons light up in choreographed patterns, although they won’t be flying at the time.

“They can’t fly at night, because they don’t have lights, so they can’t leave the ground,” said Tolbert.

The glow begins around 9:15 p.m. on July 7.

In addition there will be a drone swarm light show on both July 6 and 7.

The show will show 60 drones organized by a single controller that move in patterns in the sky.

“Instead of pyrotechnics it will be ‘digital fireworks,’ which some people call them,” said Tolbert, who said that this will be the first drone light show in the state of Washington.

“As mayor I hear very often about people who love fireworks, and it’s very split. I’m hoping through the Fly-In to show off to the city what ‘digital fireworks’ can look like, but who knows where that will go,” said Tolbert.

The drone exhibits at the Fly-In were popular last year and will be expanded this year, said Tolbert.

“People will be able to bring their own drones in to fly and there will be drones for people to practice with as well,” said Tolbert. The drone cage will be bigger than it was last year, she said.

Fly-In volunteers have also worked to expand the children’s area this year, which will include airplane simulators, aircraft for children to sit in, bouncy houses and other activities.

Usually the Fly-In happens the same time as the Arlington Street Fair, however this year’s fair is one week later, so there will be a section of 36 vendors at the Fly-In.

They have also added a band and food trucks that will be at the event, she said.

The new layout for the event will include a new parking lot with the goal of decreasing the distance that people have to walk.

“The idea is to condense everything a little bit so people aren’t walking so much,” said Tolbert.

More information about the Arlington Fly-In is available at their website at


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