Event Type
Washington Dulles International Airport
Start Date
Sep 9, 2023 - 10:30AM EDT
End Date
Sep 9, 2023 - 04:00PM EDT

The Dulles Day Festival and Plane Pull will return Saturday, September 9, 2023, at Dulles International Airport. The annual event, which provides an up-close view of aircraft and airport activities, is free and open to the public. More than 12,000 people per year have attended in years past.     

Since 1992, the Dulles Plane Pull has been organized and sponsored by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police Department. Fundraising proceeds benefit Special Olympics Virginia athletes with intellectual disabilities. Over the past 30 years, the event has raised more than $3 million. 

The centerpiece of Saturday’s event is a fun and energetic competition to see which group can pull an airplane 12 feet in the shortest time. The Plane Pull pits teams of 25 people against an 82-ton FedEx Boeing 757 or United Airlines Boeing 737 airplane. Participants will pull a long rope attached to the aircraft, with spectators cheering them on. 

Use Metrorail. With Silver Line service now open to Dulles Airport, guests are encouraged to ride the train to Dulles Day. Weekend fares on the Metrorail System are just $2 per person. Continuous shuttle service will be provided to/from the Dulles Airport Silver line station. Follow signs.

Parking and admission are FREE for event patrons. Follow signs to event parking when approaching the airport.

We encourage attendees to bring wheelchairs to the event for those who have mobility issues. Cash is accepted at the event and is the preferred form of payment for donations going to Special Olympics Virginia and at various attractions inside the venue. There will be credit card readers in certain areas of the event, and Venmo and PayPal will be accepted where specified. There will also be an ATM onsite.

Other activities across the 17-acre event site will include:

  • Static Aircraft Displays
  • TWO Planes Being Pulled - One From FedEx And The Other From United Airlines
  • Kids' Truck Pull
  • Kids' Play Area With Bounce Houses
  • Classic Car Show With Cars And Motorcycles On Display
  • Fire Truck Rides
  • Airfield Tours Aboard The Famous Dulles Mobile Lounges
  • Community Exhibitors 
  • Food and Beverage Sales, including water
  • Music Performances 
  • Equipment Displays By Airports Authority Police, Fire And Rescue And Maintenance

The aircraft static display will include:

  • A-10 
  • F-16
  • C-17
  • C40 (737)
  • A400M GAF
  • 767 Cargo
  • T-6B Texan 
  • T-6A
  • T-44
  • T-34B
  • SNJ-5
  • L-39
  • UH-1
  • DC-3
  • 4-5 Biplanes Stearmans and Boeing 450
  • 10 to 15 General Aviation aircraft
  • MV-22B Osprey
  • HH-60 Blackhawk Helo
  • AC-130 Gunship
  • USGC Dauphin

All patrons will be screened upon entry. Prohibited inside the gates: Backpacks, bags larger than 5x7 inches, luggage, outside food or drinks or animals (except service animals). In addition, no weapons of any kind are allowed unless you are an officer in uniform. Bags for child care or medical care purposes are allowed, but will be searched. Other bags that don't meet these criteria must be clear or smaller than 5x7 inches. Attendees are encouraged to bring sunglasses, hats, appropriate clothing for weather, money and work/gardening gloves if registered for pull plane activities. Empty water bottles are allowed into the event.

The 2023 event map is attached below.