For more than 25 years, Washington Dulles International Airport has invited the community to a free, one-day open house to experience aviation up close and raise money for a good cause. This year, the Dulles Day Festival and Plane Pull 2018, benefitting Special Olympics Virginia, is on Saturday, September 15.

“We are extremely proud of the event that we’ve built over more than two decades as a partner to this community and in support of a great cause,” said Mike Stewart, Airport Manager for Dulles International Airport. “Special Olympics Virginia opens doors for athletes with intellectual disabilities to have their dreams fulfilled of competing in the sports they love. The support of the community and the donations raised through Dulles Day is vital to the ongoing success of Special Olympics.”

For newcomers to the event, you can start the day early with the first activity: a 5K and 10K Race on the Runway. Runners will trot over huge skid marks where aircraft wheels touch down each day on an airport runway, and take in unique views that are normally seen for just a few moments by airline passengers. There are only 2,500 runner slots available, so register early at www.potomacenmotive.com. 

Following the race at 10:30 a.m., the gates open to the airfield where a huge, free festival awaits all visitors. The signature event of the day is the Plane Pull, a friendly competition featuring teams of 25 people trying to pull a full-size jet aircraft – weighing 82 tons – the longest distance in the shortest time. Proceeds from this fund-raising activity benefit Special Olympics Virginia.

But guests don’t have to race or pull planes to enjoy the Dulles Day Festival and Plane Pull—there’s something fun for everyone. Children can flex their muscles in the Kids’ Truck Pull competition, and surrender to fun at kids’ play area with bounce houses and a dunk-a-cop tank. For aviation enthusiasts, there will be current and vintage aircraft on display, and a classic car show. Not to be left out, the Airports Authority Police, Fire and Rescue and Maintenance teams will also display the massive equipment that keeps the airport running smoothly. 

For those guests curious about the airport, there will be airfield tours aboard the famous Dulles Mobile Lounges and rides on Airports Authority Fire Trucks. And for the dog lover community, the Airports Authority Police Department K-9 team will give hourly demonstrations.  And for the foodies, several food and beverage vendors and food trucks will be on site offering a wide variety of options for all tastes.

The day-long, family-friendly event has free admission and free parking, and is accessible through the Silver Line Express. 

For more information about Dulles Day Festival and Plane Pull, visit planepull.com.