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MacDill Airfest: Tips and info

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

After being grounded by budget cuts, MacDill Air Force Base's popular AirFest will be back this weekend, with the Air Force's Thunderbirds returning as the highlighting act.

As with previous years, expect security to be tight and lines to be long.

If you plan to go, pack some patience. With only the Dale Mabry gates open to the public, traffic will quickly back up through South Tampa neighborhoods. Lines to leave are often long as well, so be sure to bring some in-car entertainment, especially when traveling with little kids.

Drivers may be asked to show ID, so make sure you have your driver's license before heading out.

If you don't want to drive, you can also take the bus. HART route 4 will loop from downtown Tampa to the base, via Britton Plaza. Officials also suggest bicycling to the base, but you won't be able to bring your bike past the gate so you'll need to find a place to secure it.

Want to watch from the water? Feel free, but don't forget the 1,000-foot security buffer zone around the base.

Attendees should plan to deal with the heat. The sun can be strong on the base's expansive tarmac, and there is not a lot of shade. Coolers, however, will not be allowed into the base.

Air Force officials say other prohibited items include:

  • Pets
  • Bicycles
  • Weapons
  • Fireworks
  • Skateboards
  • Roller blades
  • Large tote bags
  • Alcoholic beverages

Visit the official website for scheduled aircraft, driving directions, and more details: http://www.macdill.af.mil/airfest/

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