LAKELAND — One plane after another touched down at Lakeland Linder International Airport on Monday morning. A procession of brightly-colored aircraft rolled along taxiways a bit like an unofficial parade. 

Pilots are coming in from across the country for the 47th annual Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo, which runs from Tuesday to Sunday. Many of the earliest arrivals are die-hard attendees who are eager to see friends and talk planes after last year’s cancellation amid the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s about time to get back to flying,” said Michael Mock of Brooksville.

Originally, Sun ‘n Fun was a gathering for home-built “experimental” aircraft but has grown to span six days and has a dedicated following. Photos Courtesy Ricardo von Puttkammer and Aaron Haase.