A balloon glow is one of the events returning to Arlington this year as part of the new Arlington SkyFest


The Arlington SkyFest will bring air shows and historic aircraft displays to replace what is normally the Arlington Fly-In.

The public can come to a drive-in day of shows and events on Aug. 21.

“It’s a little bit different format because of COVID,” said Randal Southam, a volunteer with the Arlington Fly-In nonprofit organization.

“This year the Arlington Fly-In will be sponsoring what we are calling the Arlington SkyFest,” he said.

Big festivals such as the Fly-In take months to plan, so organizers opted for a drive-in event this year that could be adjusted for safety if need be.

“The entire show will be drive-in compared to the traditional Fly-In with planes on the airport,” said Southam.

Because health restrictions have been lifted in the state there will be common spaces to enjoy for the public and individuals so they are not limited to their cars.

Families can come to the drive-in event to enjoy shows such as an air show, a balloon glow event, a drone show and a drive-in movie.

“We have a drone show that is about 20 minutes long and features about 100 drones in the sky,” said Southam, who added it was exciting to see what the new technology could do.

This year’s air show will take place at sunset with some aircraft equipped to release sparks behind them.

Families enjoy the aerial acrobatics show that is usually a part of the Fly-In, said Southam. 

“That is always a favorite,” he said.

The event begins with a drive-in showing of the Disney film “Planes” at 5 p.m.

Military equipment from the World War II era will be on display at the event, as well as some historical aircraft.

“We will have a replica of the Spirit of St. Louis which will be on display,” said Southam.

The Greenwood Car Show will be displaying a parade of cars at the event as well.

“There will be a number of food trucks for dining options,” said Southam.

More information and tickets are available to be purchased online at

Tickets will need to be purchased in advance and printed.

“You need to have your tickets in hand as you approach the gate,” said Southam.

The Aug. 22 pilot social is not open to the general public.

“Sunday is the traditional day for the pilots to come in and gather at the Fly-In,” said Southam, and that will remain true this year.

Southam said the Arlington Fly-In organization hopes to return the festival with it’s full slate of days and events next year.

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