Stories & Articles

A County Fair With Airplanes: Arlington Fly-In

In the shadow of Boeing Airfield, due north as the crow flies, is a local municipal airport that annually holds the third largest airshow and fly-in in the nation. Arlington Municipal Airport (AWO) began as a military airstrip during WWII and was later deeded to the city of Arlington in 1958 from the federal government. But it was in 1968, following the summer of love that a new tradition was born. What began as a grassroots, word of mouth, and uninformed gathering of like-minded connoisseurs has grown up in its 49 years to become a beloved yearly event in Arlington, as well as across Snohomish County and the state of Washington.  It has won the reputation of the West Coast Premier Renovation Aviation event. During the three days in early July, some 1500 airplanes will fly in, be it for the day or the whole weekend. It is not unusual to see pilots and their families camped under the wing of a plane.frontteaser7

Barb Tolbert, the current mayor of Arlington, grew up working at the fly-in every summer. It was her father’s vision, admiration, and grit that kept the airshow in Arlington preserving its appeal of “the country fair with airplanes.” Tolbert still works the fly-in, ensuring everyone involved enjoys a smooth ride.

From antiques to ultralights, there is something for everyone at this aviation event. Whether you are a novice or an experienced professional pilot, you will find your niche. Enjoy picturesque views in an airplane ride, or purchase an airplane to take home. Family friendly and multi-generational for kids of all ages, catch one of the daily air shows or take a romantic hot air balloon ride into the evening setting sun. Listen to the musical entertainment while you shop the many vendor booths, and at dark, kick back, relax, and watch an outdoor movie on the tarmac of The Runway Theatre. Popcorn is available.

New this year to the fly-in, you will find an exhibit on drones and modern aviation technology, including a flight simulator for those that prefer keeping their feet on the ground. Ever desire to build your own airplane or restore a vintage relic from an era gone by? The fly-in hosts several DIY sessions and learn from an expert. Maybe warbirds are right up your alley. Come visit the fly-in’s full military camp, Camp Adams, equipped with tanks, canons, bunk houses, and mess hall.

The airshow runs July 7, 8, and 9 and is $15 for an adult ticket with youth 15 and under admitted free. Check the website for further details on camping and event schedule.

See you in the friendly skies!


Written by MaryRose Denton


A Sunny January Day at the Nakashima Barn

Situated at the northern end of the Centennial Trail, the old red barn of the Nakashima dairy greets you, as you pull in the drive, standing sentry to the entrance and to the memory of its past.

The Nakashima family lived and worked this land for almost 30 years, and raising their 11 children here. They were among the earliest Japanese settlers to farm in Snohomish County, Operating it as a dairy farm, bringing the first registered Guernsey cattle to this area, until 1942 and WWII. Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, ordering approximately 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry into internment camps, the Nakashima family was among them. The farm was sold and changed hands several times until it was sold into a Trust for Public Land in 1997, upon which it became maintained by Snohomish County for use as a park. It later became part of the Heritage Barn Registry.

As you walk across the path, past the dedicated marker establishing the park in 2012, there is a small footbridge to carry you over Tributary 80, a serene little stream that meanders through the open fields, once dairy pasture to the herd of Guernsey cows. Closing your eyes, you might find yourself cast back to those days, hearing the soft lull of the cattle’s moo. Perhaps even the sweet smell of hay hits your nostrils, carried by the breeze.

The trail takes you past these pasture lands, slowly giving way to marshes and Birch groves. On this late, winter morning the Birch tree branches are bare but in a few short weeks a chorus of frogs song will usher in Spring to these wetlands and new buds will appear on bushes and trees. These are native growth protection areas, home to a wide array of wild life from frogs and herons in the marshlands to deer, coyote, and bear calling the woodlands home. There are signs at the trailhead as gentle reminders that this is their home and we must respect it, keeping it clean and free of garbage. Just in case we had forgotten.

On this crisp, weekday morning, I begin the first half of my walk in solitude, only the song if the chick-a-Dee-Dee-Dee accompanies me. I walk for three quarters of a mile before I encounter a local couple out walking their dog, a very gregarious Spaniel. I continue my course for about another mile, staying on the paved path built for walkers, joggers, and cyclists, before I turn back. There is a horse trail that runs parallel to the path I am walking. It is now an hour later in the day, almost midday, and the trail is becoming more active. I pass two other walkers and a serious yet curteous  cyclist, calling out “on your left” as he whizzed past me. This curtesy, the gentle head nod, and “hello” or “good morning” leaves me with a renewed hope of civility and humanity as I leave this park. I will carry this uplifted feeling with me through my day and gift it to others. I will pay forward the beauty I found here today.

And 75 years after the Nakashima family left this farmland, I whisper a soft “thank you” to honor their stewardship.

The barn is open from 7am to dusk everyday and makes a lovely walk with a friend, serene place to jog or bike, and family friendly with benches and rest areas near the barn. There are a few smaller, side trails off the main paved trail if you would rather explore the path less taken.

written by MaryRose Denton 


This is the excerpt for your very first post.

“You’re never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true.”  Richard Bach, author.

Inside this blog, you will find pages on stories I have written, articles both published and works in progress, parenting, massage and yoga, and travel writing.

Embarking on a path to follow a dream can be intimidating to say the least, yet here I go. Will you join me?