Major Christine “Bio” Wolf flies during an F-35A Lightning II demonstration team performance at Hill Air Force Base near Layton on June 3. This weekend, more than half a million people across the country will fly to Hill Air, according to Force Base. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)
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Hill Air Force Base – More than half a million people from across the country will fly to Hill Air Force Base this weekend to take part in the Warriors at the Wasatch Air and Space Show.
The free show, which returned after a four-year hiatus, is projected to be bigger and better than ever.
On Saturday and Sunday, June 25 and 26, showgoers can expect stunning aerial performances and world-class missions such as the US Air Force Thunderbirds, as well as Hill Air Force Base’s own F-35A Lightning II demonstration team.
“We have people coming from eight different states to see this show because it’s the largest in the western United States area,” said Kevin Ireland, executive director of the Utah Air Show Foundation. “People plan to stop their family holidays on the Hill to catch this show because it is such an event and it is huge.”
In addition to aerial demonstrations and stationary flights (parked aircraft offer a closer and personal experience to the exhibitors), a wide range of civilian and military aircraft are displayed, including helicopters, fighters, bombers. Large freight carriers and refuelers, as well as military ground transport and combat vehicles.
With hundreds of thousands of people looking forward to the long-awaited production and event, dealing with traffic and going to the show is challenging, Ireland said.
How to get there
Great way to ensure a stress-free trip to Hill Air Force Base?
Utilize public transportation.
“You can get on the frontrunner every half hour from all the south and north locations, ride the train to Clearfield Station, jump on a bus (and) they’ll take you to the airport,” said Lt. Col. Joseph. Michaels, Warriors Air Show Coordinator Wasatch Air and Space Show. “They’re making a good package for a family of four for $ 15 – that’s the way to go. You don’t want to get into traffic.”
Frontrunner usually does not run on Sundays, Michaels confirmed on Sundays, which is one of the only programs in the state where Frontrunner operates on Sundays.
There is limited parking available at Clearfield Station for people who are unable to use the frontrunner and take advantage of shuttle buses.
Other parking spaces for the air show include the Weber State Davis Campus, University Parkway Boulevard and Northridge High School on Hill Field Road. Shuttle buses are available to take participants to the show and are constantly moving from these destinations.
The final choice for parking is on the base. Showgores are accessed via the Roy and West Gates and are directed to parking spaces within those gates. No attendee can enter through the south gate. Directions to these gates can be found here.
Parking along State Route 193 is strictly prohibited to view the exhibition because it affects traffic flow and creates a safety issue, the source said in a news release.
The gates open at 8am and the event begins at around 9:55 pm, depending on the schedule and how the flight is going, with non-stop performances throughout the day until 4:30 pm.
What you can and cannot bring
More information on the program, what to bring and what not to bring in the base, and how to best prepare for hot June temperatures can be found here.
Prohibited items include: Weapons – real (regardless of license) or replicas / toys, coolers, pets, tents, large lawn chairs, bikes, scooters, skateboards and rollerblades, wagons or glass containers.
Except for diaper bags, camera cases and fanny packs, larger bags or backpacks must be smaller than 10 inches and 10 inches, and all bags are subject to search.
Parents are allowed to bring water bottles, cellphones, pre-packed and sealed snacks / baby food, strollers, sunscreen, ear protection, medicines, hand-held umbrellas, blankets and accessory equipment if needed.
Smoking in the basement, drug use, or even outdoor drinking is not allowed.
“It’s huge,” Michaels said. “This is something you shouldn’t miss, for sure.”