Saturday, July 10th, Miami witnessed Red Bull’s Flugtag for the first time in 6 years. The event, put on by the energy drink, travels to various cities around the country each year encouraging inhabitants to build flying machines that they will hurl off a 30’ platform into the water to see if they can fly.
In 2004 I was part of the team “Camel Skiing” from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, but this time I wasn’t able to get enough people, nor enough time, to gather a team of wanna-be aviators. Luckily the company I work for, Sixth Star Entertainment, was asked to build not one, but two of these machines. The first was built for Telemundo over the course of two days and was used for the test flight on Friday. The second, built in only one day, was to celebrate the signing of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to the Miami Heat.
Enough stroking my ego – back to the main event! I have never seen Bayfront Park packed by so many people. The estimated number of spectators was between 80,000 and 100,000! That’s a lot of people in one area on one day, even for Miami. No matter where, or when, the Flugtag event you are guaranteed that the flying machines will be impressive (most will not fly) and that you will be entertained. At this year’s Miami event all walks of life were represented: from Luchadores to Beer Connoisseurs, Ibis to Rubber Ducky, rednecks in Mullets and even a giant wedding cake by a couple who is getting married at the event! Flugtag was wrapped up by a show from the U.S. Coast Guard who flew in a helicopter to pluck the Coast Guard’s Flugtag Pilot from the water.
We need more Flugtags in South Florida! We have some annual events like the Coconut Grove Bed Race, but nothing really compares to the creativity and overall experience of a good Flugtag.