Children of all ages can get inspired to spread their wings during Marathon Aviation Day, set for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 13, at Florida Keys Marathon Airport, 9400 Overseas Highway bayside. Presented by the Middle Keys Chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association, the airy affair is family-friendly and open free to the public.
Now in its forth year, Aviation Day showcases rare and commercial aircraft like a FedEx cargo plane, home-built and light-sport aircraft, World War II military War Birds, rescue aircraft used by the sheriff’s department Trauma Star program and the Coast Guard and much more.
Event organizers plan to alert all airports within 200 miles that the Marathon facility is open for visitors, and pilots from around the region can fly in for a quick bite at the event’s pancake breakfast and hamburger lunch.
“Aviation Day is a really exciting event because you never know who or what is going to fly in,” said Marathon EAA chapter board member Ed Waldorf.
In addition, at the west end of the airport, parachute jumpers from across the state are to be participating in Skydive Sebastian’s Keys Boogie event, providing aerial excitement for Aviation Day attendees.
For those who like to keep their feet on the ground, the EAA’s on-site aviation museum will be open to visitors. Located at the east end of the airport, the museum houses some of the most treasured aviation artifacts in the Florida Keys. They include pieces from World War II, books, videos and a beacon that was on the ground when the airport was built.
The event schedule also includes an exhibit of antique cars inside the airport.
Marathon Aviation Day will feature a pre-registration signup booth for the Young Eagles flying program, which offers free flights for children ages 8 through 17. The program is designed to provide children with a positive introduction to aviation.
“The whole event is about trying to get more young people interested in aviation,” said Waldorf.
The Experimental Aircraft Association’s Young Eagles flights are to take place the week after Aviation Day. Over the years the program has hosted more than 100 million children across the United States, inspiring many to become commercial, cargo and Air Force pilots.
For more information about Aviation Day activities, visit www.eaamarathon.com.
For information about area lodging, contact the Marathon Chamber of Commerce at 305-743-5417 or 800-262-7284, or visit the Florida Keys & Key West website at www.fla-keys.com. Keys information also can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/floridakeysandkeywest and on Twitter at twitter.com/thefloridakeys.