Event organizers are putting the finishing touches on this year's Hill AFB open house and air show featuring the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. The May 26 and 27 event is free to the public and the gates will open at 8 a.m.
Support from the Top of Utah Military Affairs Committee is also bringing in several world-class aerial performers including Tim Weber, Dan Buchanan, the Red Eagles, the Red Bull Team, Erickson Air, and Smoke and Thunder to name a few.
The last time Hill AFB hosted an open house and air show was in 2009 and the event drew more than 300,000 people to the base over two days.
Organizers hope to draw an even larger crowd this year, which has been dubbed with the theme "Warriors Over the Wasatch - A Legacy of Valor," in honor of the event's being held over Memorial Day weekend.
"The base only opens its gates to the general public every couple of years for this event," said Lt. Col. Juris Jansons, this year's open house and air show coordinator. "We really hope people will plan to spend at least one day over the holiday weekend to come see the training and professionalism of their United States Air Force."
Each day people will see several military and civilian aerial acts culminating with the Air Force Thunderbirds performance. Additionally, several static aircraft, displays and vendors are available for people to see and even walk through, and organizers plan to recognize several members of the military and civilian community in honor of Memorial Day.
"A big change this year that people need to know about, which is different from previous events held at Hill Air Force Base, is that coolers are not being permitted into the event," Jansons said.
"This is due largely in part to the logistics and time associated with having to do a security check of each and every cooler that comes through the gate.
"There will be exceptions for medical necessity such as bringing a small cooler for baby formula or insulin, but otherwise we ask people to leave their coolers at home," Jansons said. "People can hand carry non-perishable food or bottled water in plastic containers, but free water will be provided and anything hand carried will have to be inspected, which may slow access to the show."
Event information can be found at www.hill.af.mil/warriorsoverthewasatch or by calling the event hotline at 801-777-SHOW (7469).