July 14, 2024

Santa to Fly In to St. Mary’s Airport – Dec. 21

St. Mary's Airport holiday farmers market

Santa is flying into St. Mary’s County Regional Airport, Saturday, December 21st at the terminal building, 44200 Airport Road, California, MD 20619.

Join the fun 9 am to 1 pm at this second Holiday Fly-In Farmers Market. Get some holiday shopping done with Southern Maryland’s local fresh produce and meats, chocolates, whiskey, and much more. Santa will also be arriving via aircraft!

Pilots from around the region are invited as well as everyone wishing to arrive by land. There is plenty of parking for all.

Direct from the North Pole, Santa is expected to touchdown at St. Mary’s Airport. Santa will be available for pictures (bring your camera) starting at 11 am.

Scott Sanders, one of the organizers of last year’s first Holiday Farmer’s Market at the airport, said the St. Mary’s County Fly-In Farmers Market was the first of its kind in the nation. It embraces the rural and agricultural characteristics of Southern Maryland, while highlighting the role our region has had in developing our nation’s air and space technologies. “It’s kinda who we are,” he said of matching up agricultural heritage and the high-tech draw of the Naval Air Station Patuxent River and expansion of diversified technologies at St. Mary’s Airport campus.

The first year’s success  launched a full calendar of Fly-In events at St. Mary’s County Regional Airport and 2020 will continue that. See the 2020 calendar below.

Mr. Sanders became involved with the expanding agricultural marketing efforts, including increasing numbers of people attending farmers markets in the area as one of three owners of the Tobacco Barn Distillery, which has been recognized by Whiskey Advocate magazine as Maryland’s best bourbon.

The idea for using the airport for a winter farmers market grew easily from seeing how other counties provided indoor venues for some limited markets in the winter, Mr. Sanders said. So he made a few calls.

Historic Sotterley, already operating a successful summer farmers market, joined on as an official sponsor of the Holiday Farmers Market. Sotterley continues to sponsor the Fly-In Farmers Market, and brings that organization’s expertise to the event, said Nancy Easterling, executive director of Historic Sotterley.

“When Scott Sanders of Tobacco Barn Distillery first mentioned this fabulously creative idea as an extension of our summer farmers market, we definitely wanted to be part of this,” she said. “At Sotterley, we are committed to supporting our local growers – and how wonderful to offer fresh produce and meat to our local friends!”

The growing high-tech aspect of business development on the St. Mary’s Airport campus has generated public-private collaborations. So everyone working on the airport embraced the notion of hosting the Fly-In Holiday Farmers Market. It is a natural for this community, Mr. Sanders said. “It’s how we roll here in St. Mary’s County.”

St. Mary’s County Regional Airport Calendar for 2020

January 18, 2020 — VMC Club (pilot safety/proficiency forum)
February 8, 2020 — AOPA Rusty Pilots/Flying Clubs/WINGS Event
February 15, 2020 — Fly-In Farmers Market
February 15, 2020 — VMC Club (pilot safety/proficiency forum)
March 14, 2020 — VMC Club/FAA Pilot Forum/WINGS Event
March 2020 — Hangar Talk/Movie Night
March 21, 2020 — Fly-In Farmers Market
April 2020 — “World’s Fastest Bourbon”/Art Nalls’ Harrier
April 18, 2020 — VMC Club (pilot safety/proficiency forum)
May 16, 2020 — Taxiway 5K Run
May 16, 2020 — VMC Club (pilot safety/proficiency forum)
May 2020 — Vintage Aircraft / Vintage Cars
June 13, 2020 — EAA Young Eagles (free flights for youths age 8-17)
June 20, 2020 — VMC Club (pilot safety/proficiency forum)
July 2020 — Open Hangar Night
July 2020 — Maryland Airport Managers Association (invitation only)
July 18, 2020 — VMC Club (pilot safety/proficiency forum)
July 28, 2020 — National Aviation Day Event (Leonardtown)
August 2020 — Fly-In and Shuttle to Pax River Naval Air Museum
August 15, 2020 — VMC Club (pilot safety/proficiency forum)
September 2020 — Fly-In Breakfast and WINGS Event
September 2020 — UAS (drone) Airshow (invitation only)
September 19, 2020 — VMC Club (pilot safety/proficiency forum)
October 17, 2020 — Airport Open House
October 17, 2020 —  VMC Club (pilot safety/proficiency forum)
November 2020 — Civil Air Patrol Open House
November 21, 2020 — VMC Club (pilot safety/proficiency forum)
December 19, 2020 — Holiday Farmers Market/See Santa Fly In!
December 19, 2020 — VMC Club (pilot safety/proficiency forum)

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