Dulles Festival and Plane Pull Raises Record $530,000

80+ teams registered to play tug-of-war against an airplane!

The Dulles Airport tarmac transformed this past Saturday. While it usually sees planes taking off and landing, on this day it was the backdrop for the 2023 Dulles Festival and Plane Pull, an event supporting Special Olympics Virginia athletes.

The community's dedication was evident with a record-breaking $530,000 raised. This impressive sum showcases the commitment to supporting the Special Olympics Virginia athletes in their endeavors.

Top Fundraising Teams
  1. Cisco
  3. Team Jacobs
  4. Chesapeake Sheriff's Office

Over 80 teams registered for a unique tug-of-war against not one, but two airplanes. Each 25-member team raised at least $2,500 for the privilege to pull an airplane 12 feet in the quickest time. Their challenge? A FedEx Boeing 757 and a United Airlines Boeing 737, each weighing 82 tons.

What made the event even more memorable was the involvement of Special Olympics Virginia athletes who served as athlete coaches. Their presence and participation added a deeper layer of meaning to the event as they cheered on teams and, in some cases, joined in the pull.

Athlete coach group picture at Dulles Plane Pull and Festival

In addition to the plane pull, the day was filled with activities. Thousands on the tarmac enjoyed a truck pull by 123Junk, live music, food, fire truck rides, face painting, balloon animals, and bounce houses.

However, not everything went as planned. Due to unexpected lightning in the area, the event was cut short, leaving some teams, including the defending champions, Chesapeake Sheriff's Office, unable to showcase their strength.

Despite the abrupt end, the event saw impressive fundraising efforts. The top teams were Cisco, GDIT/GDMS, Team Jacobs, and the Chesapeake Sheriff's Office, underlining the dedication of all involved.

To see photos of the event, CLICK HERE. For group photos, CLICK HERE.