On Saturday, September 14, Dulles International Airport hosted the 27th Annual Dulles Day and Plane Pull, a free, one-day open house to benefit Special Olympics Virginia and to welcome visitors of all ages to experience aviation up close.
The day kicked off with sixth Annual 5K/10K on the Runway, where 2,500 race participants had the best running experience on the flattest, fastest course in the area. All race proceeds will benefit Special Olympics Virginia, the Committee for Dulles Community Outreach and the Washington Airports Task Force, all 501c3 nonprofit organizations closely affiliated with Dulles International Airport.
Later in the morning, nearly the entire cargo ramp adjacent to Runway 1C/19C was transformed to the delight of Dulles Day visitors who were treated to acres of displays featuring airport fire and snow equipment, vintage classic cars and a wide variety of aircraft, from a huge U.S. Air Force C-17 transport plane to a U.S. Marine Corps V-22 Osprey to airplanes going back nearly 100 years.
But airplanes weren’t the only draw at Saturday’s 2019 Dulles Day. Air field tours were offered aboard Airports Authority fire trucks and mobile lounges, interactive vendor displays were abundant throughout the event and the kids play area offered bounce houses, train rides and even a dunk-a-cop tank, along with a wide variety of food and music.
At the Plane Pull, the day’s signature event whose proceeds from fundraising activities benefit Special Olympics Virginia, nearly 60 teams made up of 25 people competed to pull either a FedEx Boeing 757 or a United A320 a distance of 12 feet in the fastest time with a rope.
With a blazing time of just 4.95 seconds, the Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office took home the trophy for the 12th consecutive year, beating out second-place Fairfax Sheriff’s Office by a mere 0.01 seconds. But while the competition was tough, the true meaning of the event was evident, as more than $415,000 was raised for Special Olympics Virginia.
By the end of the day, Dulles International Airport welcomed more than 13,000 visitors who were treated to a full day of fun and festivities – and not to mention up-close plane spotting from a rarely accessed vantage point.
Stay tuned for the announcement of next year’s 2020 Dulles Day and Plane Pull.