Air show to draw thousands to Dover Air Force Base

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds perform during an air show at Joint Base McGuire Dix Lakehurst in New Jersey. (Mark Eichmann/WHYY)

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds perform during an air show at Joint Base McGuire Dix Lakehurst in New Jersey. (Mark Eichmann/WHYY)

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will headline two days of aerial entertainment celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Air Force.

While the Thunderbird’s F-16s are the highlight of this weekend’s events, there’s plenty of other things for visitors to Dover to see both in the sky and on the ground. Organizers are preparing for 200,000 visitors to attend the first air show and open house at Dover Air Force Base in eight years.

Those in attendance will see 20 aerial acts including a fly-by by the B-2 stealth bomber on Saturday and a parachute presentation from the U.S. Special Operations Command Black Daggers Parachute Demonstration Team. More than 30 static displays will be available to explore on the ground.

“We’re going to trace the history of air power in the United States Air Force,” said Lt. Col. Todd Walker, who serves as the 436th Logistics Readiness Squadron commander and will work as ground boss for the air show. “You’re going to get a little bit of World War II all the way up to present day,” Walker said. “It’s going to be a historical time.”

DelDOT officials are warning drivers to be prepared for air show traffic to mix with beach goers along Rt. 1 leading to heavy backups. DelDOT’s advisory encouraged drivers to “travel during off peak times after 9 p.m. on Friday evening or early Saturday morning. Return travel from the southern Delaware on Sunday is also anticipated to be heavy.”

Those heading to the air show from the north will be allowed to park on base by using the North Gate. Extra parking is also available at Bergold Farms, 725-929 Bergold Ln. in Dover. There will be a free shuttle running from the farm to the base every five to ten minutes.

The show starts both Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m. and wraps up around 5 p.m. Admission and parking are both free.

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