FL Fly-in will feature plane rides, music, food

Fans of flight in spotlight on Saturday


Daniel DePonti Memorial Airport in Forest Lake will be a hub of family fun this weekend. The airport’s 11th annual Open House and Fly-in runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 18.

Airplane fans checked out a plane at the 10th annual Forest Lake Fly-in a year ago. (File photo)

Food, music and a car show are staples of the fly-in, and another big draw is also sure to please: pilots from the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Young Eagles program will once again offer free plane rides to youth ages 8-17.

New this year is an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast, also put on by EAA Chapter 237. The $6 meal starts at 8 a.m.

Lunch offerings starting at noon will include corn on the cob, brats and burgers sold by the Forest Lake Lions. Dessert will be covered, as well, in the form of ice cream from Daniela’s Cioccalato.

Spend the afternoon checking out the crafts on display. The Spinners Car Club, a local group, will bring a large fleet of classic hot rods. Of course, plenty of airplanes will be on hand, including many coming and going during the fly-in.

Though attendees are asked not to touch the displays, the owners and pilots will be more than happy to show off the ins and outs of their machines.

The Forest Lake Fire Department and the Minnesota DNR have also been invited to display vehicles.

Staff from Skydive Forest Lake will share information about the business that recently opened at the airport.

The open house will feature the BBB Jazz Orchestra. That musical entertainment will begin around 11 a.m.

Craft activities featuring model airplanes will be available for younger children.

The public should use the airport’s entrance off US-61. The open house will be held on the southeast corner of the airport, near the new hangars.

Whether for business, personal travel or a hobby, organizers say it is important to promote flying in any form.

“Aviation is for everyone,” says local pilot Sam Husnik, chair of the Forest Lake Airport Commission. “You can actually fly privately to Des Moines, Sioux Falls, Hibbing, Fargo, Omaha, Lincoln, and even Chicago, almost as fast, and with less hassle, than with the airlines…

“It’s not cheap, but it depends on how you look at it. Some people have a cabin up north or a boat or a motorcycle. Others just love airplanes.”

Details for Youth Rides

Pre-registration for the Young Eagles rides can be completed at www.forestlakeairport.org. A parent must be present at the fly-in for the child to participate.

If a child does not get a ride at the fly-in, rides will be offered again the following Saturday, Aug. 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the airport.

More information about the Young Eagles program can be found www.YoungEagles.org.