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Burton: Sun 'n Fun 2008 Finished Strong

John Burton
John Burton

April 13 2008 — This year's Sun 'n Fun Fly-In overcame a slow start to finish strong, said John Burton, president of the fly-in. "We had a number of challenges, beginning with the heavy rains on Sunday before the fly-in," he said. "That certainly made things difficult, both for aircraft parking and our parking lots. But we finished strong, especially on Saturday with the Thunderbirds headline the air show.

As bad as Sunday's weather was (four inches of rain drenched Lakeland Linder Regional Airport), they couldn't have asked for better conditions through the rest of the week other than Sunday. That led to an increasing number of aircraft arriving as the week went on. Burton credited the volunteers with helping get those parking areas suitable for aircraft and vehicles.

"The efforts expended by our volunteers was incredible. They responded to every challenge we gave them, and they did an incredible job."

Early attendance estimates show numbers tracking a little behind 2007, Burton said. But Saturday's strong showing, keyed by "Chamber of Commerce" weather, should bring that up a bit. "We're very anxious to see where we wind up," he said. Sunday, closing day, had some wet weather, but the air show went on as scheduled, headlined again by the ever-popular Thunderbirds.

"It's been a heck of an effort all around," Burton said, adding that planning for next has already begun. Sun 'n Fun will continue to use the theme, "The Aviation Year Starts Here."

In 2009, that's April 21-26.

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