Things to do in Southwest Florida: Air Show at the Punta Gorda Airport Oct. 16 & 17, 2021

A Vultee BT-13 Valiant Will Fly in the Florida International Air Show at the Punta Gorda Airport, Oct. 16 & 17, 2021.

The Florida International Air Show soars into the Punta Gorda Airport Oct. 16 & 17, 2021. Not sure about you but I’m thrilled seeing events return! This air show is one of Southwest Florida’s biggest heart-pumping experiences. And, living in a coronavirus pandemic world, it’s outdoors. This means, it’s easy to practice social distancing.

A Vultee BT-13 Valiant Will Fly in the Florida International Air Show at the Punta Gorda Airport, Oct. 16 & 17, 2021.
A Vultee BT-13 Valiant Will Fly in the Florida International Air Show at the Punta Gorda Airport, Oct. 16 & 17, 2021.

All sorts of aircraft will be zipping overhead. A sampling includes the thrilling U.S. Air Force Air Combat Command F-16 Viper Demonstration Team. The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Parachute Team (or Para-Commandos) are part of the opening ceremonies. Here’s a fun fact, “the Para-Commandos are members of and representative of today’s Special Operations Forces,” according to their website. The teams consists of active members of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.

An F-16 Viper flying in formation with a P-51 Mustang in an Air Force Heritage Flight demonstrates the evolution of the aircraft. The P-51 was designed in 1940. Production of the F-16 was approved in 1976.

Non-military performers will take to the skies with riveting stunts including Scott Farnsworth with the S-211 Marchetti Jet Qyon Aero Sports Team.

Patty Wagstaff is returning to the Florida International Air Show. She’s an example of girl power. Wagstaff is the first woman to win the U.S. National Aerobatic Championship in 1991. She captured the win again in 1992.

All the action doesn’t happen in the sky. Visitors can view static displays including various aircraft. This year’s show includes a craft fair with unique items. And of course, there will be food and beverages. After all, this year’s presenting sponsor is Tropical Smoothie Cafe!

What You Need to Know About the Florida International Air Show

Because the air show takes place at an airport, inbound and outbound air traffic may pause the show for a bit. And, weather may impact the show lineup.

If you’re planning on attending, purchase tickets in advance to save some time. Gates open at 9 a.m. both days and opening ceremonies begin at noon. Find additional information on the Florida International Air Show website and for the latest information on their Facebook page.

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Solo Travel Girl

Jennifer A. Huber is the voice behind Solo Travel Girl. She's an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, SoloTravelGirl.com with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

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