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Santa Touches Down @ St. Mary’s

Santa

Just weeks before the opening of the Golden Anniversary Year of  St. Mary’s County Regional Airport, Santa dropped in by red helicopter the weekend before Christmas  — leaving his reindeer to rest up for the big night ahead. He took the time to hear the wishes of a line-up of girls and boys stretching across the front of the terminal building at 44200 Airport Road, California, MD 20619.

SantaThis was Santa’s second time to headline the Holiday Fly-In Farmers Market at St. Mary’s Airport, which again succeeded in packing the Captain Walter Francis Duke terminal with Southern Maryland’s local fresh produce and meats, chocolates, whiskey, and much more.

There will be four more Fly-In Farmers Markets at the airport in the coming year. Pilots from around the region are invited as well as everyone wishing to arrive by land. There is plenty of parking for all and always good local shopping opportunities.

Scott Sanders is one of the organizers of the Farmers Market Fly-In, a collaboration between the airport and Historic Sotterley, which operates summertime farmers markets. Mr. Sanders considers this the first fly-in farmers market in the nation.

Southern Maryland is the perfect place to blend agriculture and airplanes, Mr. Sanders says 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.  “It’s kinda who we are,” he says.

Building on Santa’s success in 2018 — and now again in 2019 — Jim Alexander, chairman of the St. Mary’s County Airport Advisory Board, declared the Holiday Fly-In Market the kick-off to a full year of anniversary celebrations in 2020.

“Next year marks the 50th Anniversary of the St. Mary’s County Regional Airport (2W6),” he writes in the announcement accompanying next year’s calendar. “And numerous events are planned to celebrate the milestone starting this month and continuing throughout 2020!”

The growing high-tech aspect of business development on the St. Mary’s Airport campus has generated many public-private collaborations. They will be on particularly display this coming year. Those events already scheduled are on the list here:

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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