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Vintage aircraft soar into Gainesville for Cracker Fly-In
Annual event is July 9 at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport
A plane prepares to take flight at the 46th annual Cracker Fly-In at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport last year. The event featured around 200 planes. This year's event is set for Saturday, July 9.

Cracker Fly-In

When: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 9

Where: Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport, 1137 Aviation Way, Gainesville

Cost: $5, children 12 and younger free; $5 pancake breakfast; rides for a fee

More info: or email

Opportunity for veterans

The EAA 611 is looking for veterans to take on a DC-3 vintage plane ride. The chapter is willing to buy tickets for all the World War II veterans who live in Hall County and would like to go. It’s a plane most of them would have flown on during their war days. 

The 47th annual Cracker Fly-In is ready to take off.

“Our goal is to share our passion of aviation with the community and welcome everyone, young and old to come look at planes, helicopters, cars and more,” according to the website,

The Fly-In is hosted by the Experimental Aircraft Association’s 611 chapter since 1978, but the Antique Aircraft Association used to hold it back in the 1960s.

The origins of the event’s name are up for debate. Some say it was named because the event was usually held on the fourth of July, and got its name from firecrackers. Others say it was named on behalf of teams such as the Atlanta Crackers.

Back then, the event lasted for several days. Now it is an early morning, one-day-only affair, lasting from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 9.

Plane fanatics and attendees will see more than 150 planes expect to arrive at the event at the Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport, 1137 Aviation Way, Gainesville.

Aircraft will range from helicopters and military planes to home-built or customized factory-built planes. Some historical airplanes may be at the airfield, too. Examples of the aircraft are AT-11 bomber, Lockheed Electra, J3 Cubs and Stearmans.

Attendees may go for a ride in a military plane, helicopter or twin radial engine DC-3 for a fee, the website said.

An airplane judging contest will be at noon. And a kid-friendly zone will be set up this year, with bounce houses, snow cones and more.

Tickets are $5 with children 12 and younger allowed in for free. Parking is free on Palmour Drive.

A $5 pancake breakfast will launch the day’s activities at 7:30 a.m. Lunch will be served at 11 a.m. and provided by Hickory BBQ.

Cash and credit cards are accepted.

Because of the nature of the Fly-In, it is not a rain or shine event.

“We do all we can to put on a great event for the community, but we have no control over Mother Nature,” the website said.

For more information, including prices for the helicopter and airplane rides, visit

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