Sun ‘N Fun Plans For In-Person Expo


Sun n’ Fun is going forward with its annual expo this year following the cancellation of the 2020 event due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Organizers say they are expecting to host “hundreds of exhibitors” along with forums, workshops and aerial displays. Featured airshow performances will include the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, F-22 Raptor Demo Team and Aeroshell Aerobatic Team.

“Our event certainly suffered alongside the rest of the world when the pandemic forced us to cancel last year,” said Greg Gibson, Sun ‘n Fun chief marketing officer and airshow director, “but we are coming back better than ever in 2021 with new and exciting things for our guests in a COVID-responsible venue that has their safety and enjoyment as top priorities.”

The 2021 Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo is scheduled to take place April 13-18, 2021, at Lakeland Linder International Airport (LAL) in Lakeland, Florida. Bringing in more than $2 million a year, the annual expo provides an estimated 80 percent of the annual funding for the Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE). ACE offers science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education programs, flight training and aerospace-related college scholarships, and hands-on learning facilities.

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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  1. April of this year? Considering most places won’t have widespread vaccine distribution until May, unless that changes, I don’t see how this will work.

      • Before your comment gets deleted by the powers that be I wanted to chime in and say how much I appreciate it 🙂

      • I second that. Disney World in Florida is open, Sun n’ Fun should be as well. You don’t need a vaccine to go. Just stay in your home and hide. I recommend to those people, probably better never to come out.

    • Maybe consider that the major aviation events were canceled last year because they would have been superspreader events, and the liability that the organizers would face would almost certainly close them permanently. I personally would like to see many more SnFs and AirVentures beyond 2021.

  2. At this point, April 13th is only 82 days away. Even if the Biden administration’s plan to vaccinate 100 million people in their first 100 days is successful – a very tall order – that means less than 1/3 of the US population will have received at least one shot by then. And, with the current two vaccines available, the first and second shots need to be spaced 3-4 weeks apart. Experts say that it takes 2-3 weeks for the vaccinations to become fully effective after your second dose. No matter how determined the Sun ‘n Fun people may be, the numbers are just not in their favor for an early April event.

    • All you DemPanic folks should just stay at home and don’t chance it. That is your choice. We won’t push going on you. Don’t push not going on us. Pretty simple huh?

  3. Sun-N-Fun is one of the highlights of my year and I really missed it last year. I hope it is safe by April but this is unlikely given the 400,000+ dead so far and our current increasing death rate. This is not about politics but is about making sure attendees, their families and everyone are acceptably safe. So far, I have lost 2 friends to C-19.

    I think the best course of action at this time is to postpone to maybe late May or early June but even this may be optimistic.

    • Disney World is open in Orlando. Doesn’t matter how many friends you lost or that 400,000 are gone. We all know someone, but living and moving on needs to happen. You can stay home.

      • The insensitivity is astounding. It’s easy to criticize others for taking sensible precautions at avoiding a virus that is a factor more deadly than covid (and may leave you with long-term debilitating effects), until suddenly you are facing your own family being exposed to it because of your carelessness.

  4. A little bit of sensitivity on the right here? Two posts, two “DemPanic” themed responses. NEITHER of the OPs said to cancel it; they each said it will be difficult to pull off.

    Besides, I’m pretty sure the organizers of Sun n Fun don’t rely on the comments section to make their decisions.

    Relax, folks. Since Biden’s inauguration all of us on the left have agreed only to come after your rights on alternate days.

  5. Why is it that the EAA can’t face the truth of what’s happening in the country?
    If Sun ‘n Fun 2021 actually goes ahead in 3 months time, it will be the biggest COVID spreader event yet in this State of Denial. Same goes for EAA Air Venture 2021.
    But just like last year, they’re going to keep telling us “It’s going to happen” right up until the last month, when their attorneys will have to tell them (again) that if they go ahead with the event they’ll stand to be potentially liable for thousands of deaths, and it’ll be cancelled. That’s assuming that there is ANY common sense left on the Sun ‘n Fun board.
    It’s time to wake up to reality folks – it’s going to take at least another 6 months or more before there’s anywhere near enough people vaccinated to slow the spread of covid in the USA, so most likely we’re going to be under widespread covid restrictions until the Fall. Throw in a nice C-19 mutation and it could be way longer than that.
    So how about we stop deluding everyone, face reality, and focus more on figuring out how we’re going to deal with the economic fallout from this mess? That should be a more productive exercise than trying to string everyone along with false hopes of an airshow that isn’t going to happen.
    Aviation – such a great community, but man, sometimes so delusional at the same time. 🙄
    The next thing they’re going to be telling us is that the Eclipse jet is coming back into production and the company will “soon be making a profit” 🤣😂
    At least HAI put on their Big Boy pants and made the right decision by cancelling their show. Sun ‘n Fun needs to step up and do the same thing. Unless, of course, they’re absolutely determined to prioritize economics over the lives of their customers.

  6. I don’t have a horse in this race since I normally avoid large group gropes anyway. Been to S+F once and OSH twice. Would rather use the money to put gas in my planes and go fly acro or backcountry in Idaho.

    However, if folks are bent on going to an event that most likely will have some health issues I say let ’em. It’s the same for the rest of ones’ personnel health awareness. Eat too much, get fat. Don’t exercise and eat to much, get obese. Smoke, injure your lungs and possibly contract lung cancer. Imbibe freely to get drunk regularly, die of some associated malfunction. Just don’t be on the road with me. I witnessed all three of these at aforementioned functions and found little reason to go back for more.

    Wishing you the best of luck.

  7. I find it interesting that anyone who tries to comment about the difficulties of holding a mass gathering at this time are immediately hooted down as being frightened little Democrats. I fail to see what politics have to do with any of this. Last I checked, the Corona virus is apolitical and will infect anyone regardless of party affiliations. Am I afraid of the virus? You are damned right I am. If you macho men find that amusing, I don’t really care. I don’t hide in the basement. I go on with my life and take the precautions recommended by the CDC (another non-political body), but I won’t attend large mass gatherings until significant progress is made in controlling the pandemic. Disney world is open? Great, knock yourselves out. I’m just saying that I wouldn’t bet my beer money that SnF will actually go on as scheduled.

    Oh, and Doug and SB, I am a registered Republican and proud of it. I just don’t let my political feelings get in the way of common sense.