Every May, Talkeetna is the center of Alaska's aviation world, as the Talkeetna Fly-In takes place, attracting pilots and unique planes from around the state for a weekend of fun and events that kicks off Friday, May 17 at the airport.
The Talkeetna Fly-In's slogan is "Honoring the past, celebrating the future," and that is fitting. Aviation has a rich history in Talkeetna, from Bush pilot legends like the Hudsons and Sheldons. Today, it's a hub of aviation as air taxis service climbers to Denali and flight tours in the Alaska Range.
Pilots fly into Talkeetna from around the state and camp right at the airport. The scene is amazing, as more than 100 planes of every imaginable - and even unimaginable - type fill the area near the runway. The planes themselves are an attraction, as you can see the latest and greatest planes, antique planes and even concept planes you can't find anywhere else.
The event officially kicks off Friday with a group art show at the Sheldon Community Arts Hangar and a 7:30 p.m. showing of Johnny Baker film by Jake Graupman of AK Outdoor Photography. On Saturday, there is a full day slated. Back at the Sheldon Hangar in town, there will be aviation-themed films screened on a loop all day. As pilots make their way to Talkeetna, they collect "cards" by stopping at up to three other airports en route to Talkeetna and taking a picture. Noon Saturday is the deadline for turning in their cards to make the best poker hand. At 1 p.m., there will be a takeoff and landing demonstration, followed by an aerial scavenger hunt at 3 p.m. From 4-8 p.m. the Antique Auto Mushers of Alaska will have a car show. For the kids, there is a treasure hunt at 3 p.m., a balsa plane flying contest at 5 p.m. and a unicycle race at 5:30 p.m.
On Sunday, Talkeetna Roadhouse shows up for a free pancake breakfast that is always a favorite. At 10 a.m. there will be a tour of the Talkeetna Build-a-Plane facility. The event wraps up with the Missing Man Formation Flyover at 2:45 p.m. and the awards ceremony at 3, where prizes for Best in Show, Most Alaskan, Crowd Favorite and Hangar Queen will be given out, in addition to the poker run and scavenger hunt.
For more information, visit the event's Facebook page HERE.