The Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce held it's third annual Planes, Trains, and Automobiles event at the Plant City Airport Saturday, March 23. The event was held in conjunction with the Plant City Airport as well as Tampa International Airport and included planes, helicopters, remote control planes, a large, N-scale model train, automobiles, and presentations and demonstrations from Hillsborough County Search and Rescue, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department, the Plant City Police Department, and various fire departments.
Opening ceremonies began at 10:30 a.m. with addresses from Joe Lopano, CEO for the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority, and Mayor Mike Sparkman. Attendance was expected to reach up to 5,000.
Planning for the event began more than four years ago when Jason Jones, a member of the board of directors for the Plant City chamber of commerce and chairman of the event, approached the board about hosting a fun, annual event that was geared toward children and families. Jones explained that what makes their transportation event different from others is that it allows kids to get an up close look at the exhibits.
“We wanted them to be close to the planes, trains, and automobiles,” Jones said.
Boy Scouts could also earn their Aviation and Search and Rescue badges and children ages 8 to 17 were offered free flights.
“All of the pilots out here are donating their time, gas, and equipment free of charge,” said Jim Scott, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce.