Arctic Thunder Open House expects over 180,000 people this weekend

The Arctic Thunder Air Show starts this weekend after missing the 2020 Air Show due to COVID-19, and the airmen on base are ready to welcome back community memb
Published: Jul. 28, 2022 at 10:44 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The rumble of jet engines and the thunderous sound of aircraft flying through the air will fill the sky once again above Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. The Arctic Thunder Open House starts this weekend after missing the 2020 Air Show due to COVID-19, and the airmen on base are ready to welcome back community members.

“We’re very excited for the event this weekend,” U.S. Air Force Capt. Michael Joo said.

Activities take off on Friday during the Artic Thunder Open House rehearsal day. The rehearsal day will feature a slimmed-down version of this weekend’s air show events. Starting at 9 a.m. the rehearsal day event will welcome an exclusive group of attendees on base. The event is open to all individuals with base access, DoD card holders, and pre-coordinated guests, which includes members of the Civil Air Patrol, and other specific youth groups.

‘We have targeted specific groups such as the exceptional family program family members, as well as some off-base entities that could really benefit from some smaller groups size and really enjoy the show on Friday,” Joo said.

All participants must have already RSVP to attend Friday’s event. However, starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning, both the Boniface Gate and Fort Richardson Gate are open to the general public for spectators to attend the air show. Admission to the air show is free.

“Our estimation shows approximately 180,000 folks throughout the weekend,” Joo said. “So we are hoping for large crowds and some good weather to facilitate that number.”

Joo said that people must also be aware of certain items that are prohibited on base. The use of umbrellas is not allowed this weekend. Individuals should dress for the weather in anticipation of rain. A list of further items that are prohibited can be found on the JBER Air Show site.

The air show will feature performances from C-17s, the Thunderbirds, and F-22s, in addition to displaying over 30 static aircraft, a STEM activity section, kids zones, and over 70 vendors.

“We will have a large number of Air Force jets as well that families will be able to walk through in as well,” Joo said.

Officials said that they hope the air show will help create a passion in people about aviation and help build the next generation of pilots.

“We’re hoping to educate, train and inspire anyone who comes to the open house and really get a glimpse into our mission statement here,” Joo said.

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