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What You Should Know if You're Headed to AirFest This Weekend

A little preparation for a popular event like AirFest can go along way to enjoying your time there.
ROCKFORD -- After a year off, AirFest is back!  And while some things will look familiar to past AirFest goers, some things have changed.  Here are some things to consider if you are headed to AirFest.

How much time should I give myself to arrive? 

More than you think.  Not only are the bridges on the bypass leading to the airport down to one lane each way, but there's plenty of road construction around the airport as well.  That means that even if you avoid the bypass construction zone, other road work and congestion may slow you down.

When does AirFest start?

Parking lots open at 8am, with the gates opening at 9am.  Air acts begin performing at 11am and end before the gates close at 5pm.  Lineups of acts aren't determined this year until the day of, so if you're going to specifically see the Thunderbirds, you may just want to plan on being there by 11am and looking through the many static aircraft displays until they perform.  We're told they'll be the main act and that means they'll be the last to fly each day.

How much does it cost again?

In a change from two years ago, Airfest will now charge by the carload.  That means two people in a Miata will cost the same as seven in a minivan -- $30.  The fee is for as many as your vehicle can legally seat, so sorry -- no packing Volkwagens!  Also be sure to bring extra cash for refreshments since you cannot bring in food, drink or coolers inside -- and also money for stuff like t-shirts if you're into that sort of thing.  ATM's are available on the grounds, but will charge you a fee to use.

What should I bring besides cash?

Chairs -- unless you've bought tickets in an area which already provides preferred seating.  You can buy those tickets after you arrive.
Earplugs.  The planes are very loud after all.  If you don't have any, they can be purchased on site.
Cameras.  This is a photo and video friendly event!
Something to Autograph.  There is an autograph area, but the Airfest is not providing programs this year, so if you want autographs, you'll have to provide something for them to sign.  Some of the acts will have flyers.
Sunscreen.  The FirstWarn weather forecast for AirFest is pretty good, with Saturday looking a bit nicer than Sunday.  While temperatures will mostly be in the 70's, there's nothing like a few hours in the sun after an endless winter inside to leave you sunburned.  You can find the latest AirFest forecast here.   http://www.mystateline.com/weather

Other questions?  Check out the AirFest Q&A page here:

http://www.rockfordairfest.com/Landing.aspx?id=60
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