25th Anniversary Dulles Day Festival and Plane Pull


September 23, 2017


10:30 AM - 4:00 PM EDT


Washington Dulles International Airport
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Come celebrate 25 years of pulling planes to support Special Olympics Virginia. There's lots to see and do, and admission is FREE!

Mark your calendars for Saturday, September 23. Washington Dulles International Airport will host its its annual one-day open house that lets thousands of visitors experience aviation up close. Registration is now open for plane pull particpants and event volunteers. If you just plan to attend the open house, there is no need to pre-register. It is open to all ages.

The day will begin early with a 5k and 10k runway run. Runners will trot over huge skid marks where aircraft wheels touch down each day on Runway 1R/19L and get unique views that are normally seen for just a few moments by airline passengers. The run will begin and and end at the National Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center, which is connected to the airport. Register now - space is limited.

Later, at 10:30 a.m, gates at Dulles will open to a huge, free festival on the airfield. All visitors are welcome/no registration is required. The signature event is the Plane Pull, a friendly competition in which teams of 25 people work together to pull a full-size jet aircraft - weighing 82 tons - in the shortest time. Spectators are encouraged to cheer and take photographs. Proceeds from fund-raising activities benefit Special Olympics Virginia.

Plane pull team registrations are now being accepted. Looking for another way to make a difference? We are looking for hundreds of volunteers to be a part of a successful event. 

Dulles Day includes:

  • Up to 2500 participants in a 5K and 10K run (7:30 - 9:30 a.m.)
  • Up to 100 teams in the Plane Pull event, including ten-time defending champion Chesapeake, Virginia, Sheriff’s Office
  • TWO planes being pulled - one from FedEx and the other from United Airlines. Gates open at 10:30 a.m., and event kicks off at 11 a.m.
  • An "International Row" immediately inside the entrance gate with exhibits focusing on travel
  • Current and vintage aircraft on display (specifics to be announced closer to event date)
  • Classic car show with cars and motorcycles on display
  • Airfield tours aboard the famous Dulles Mobile Lounges
  • Kids’ play area with bounce houses (weather/wind permitting), truck pull and dunk-a-cop tank
  • Equipment displays by Airports Authority Police, Fire and Rescue and Maintenance
  • Take a ride in an Airports Authority fire truck for a donation to Special Olympics
  • Police K-9 demonstrations
  • Food and beverages from several vendors and food trucks available for purchase (vendors to be announced closer to the event date)

Patrons are encouraged to ride Metrorail's Silver Line to Dulles: A special "Plane Pull" shuttle for festival patrons will be available on September 23 from the Wiehle/Reston East station's Silver Line Express bus stop. Make sure to board the Plane Pull bus, not the regularly scheduled bus to the airport terminal.

Here is last year's event and parking map. The maps will be updated for 2017 in September. All lots and buses will be accessible for the disabled.

Click for larger map
View the archived 2016 event parking map here
Dulles Day Festival Map
View the archived 2016 festival map here


Prohibited inside the gates: Backpacks, large bags, coolers, weapons, pets (except service animals). Leave them at home. Enforcement will be strict at the entrance gate. Cameras are allowed and encouraged!