Each year for more than 25 years, Washington Dulles International offers a free, one-day open house for thousands of visitors to experience aviation up close. This year, Dulles Day 2018 will be on Saturday, September 15.
The day begins early with the 5K and 10K on the Runway race for registered participants. At 10:30 a.m., gates open to the airfield where a huge, free festival awaits all visitors. The signature event 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. Spectators are encouraged to cheer and take photographs. Proceeds from fund-raising activities benefit Special Olympics Virginia.
Dulles Day includes something for everyone:
- Up to 2500 participants in a 5K and 10K run (7:30 – 9:30 a.m.)
- Nearly 100 teams in the Plane Pull event, including defending champion Chesapeake, Virginia, Sheriff’s Office
- Two planes being pulled – one from FedEx and the other from United Airlines – kicking off at 11:00 a.m.
- Kids’ Truck Pull competition
- An “International Row” immediately inside the entrance gate with exhibits focusing on travel
- Current and vintage aircraft on display
- Classic car show with about 50 cars and motorcycles on display
- Airfield tours aboard the famous Dulles Mobile Lounges for $1 per ride
- Kids’ play area with bounce houses, truck pull and dunk-a-cop tank
- “Trackless Train” running back and forth to carry attendees along the length of the site
- Equipment displays by Airports Authority Police, Fire and Rescue and Maintenance
- Airports Authority Fire Truck rides for a $5 donation to Special Olympics
- Hourly police K-9 demonstrations
- Food and beverages from several vendors and food trucks available for purchase
Driving there: Arrive via the Dulles Airport Access Highway and keep right, following electronic “Event Parking” signs to free lots with shuttle buses. All lots and buses are accessible for the disabled.
Getting there from the Silver Line: A free “Plane Pull” shuttle for festival patrons will be available beginning at 10 a.m. at the Wiehle/Reston East station’s Silver Line Express bus stop. The free shuttle service will conclude when the festival closes for the day.
Do not bring: Backpacks, large bags, coolers or weapons. Leave them in your car or at home. No pets allowed (except service animals). Enforcement will be strict at the entrance gate. Cameras are allowed and encouraged.