Fairchild airmen excited for SkyFest’s return

AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash. – SkyFest is finally returning to Fairchild Air Force Base. 

The last time it held the air show was back in 2019. It was supposed to return in 2021, but was canceled because of the pandemic. 

This year’s show has a long list of performers, including the Thunderbirds, who last visited Spokane skies in 2017. 

92nd Refueling Wing Commander Colonel Cassius Bentley expects around 70,000 people to attend SkyFest between May 14-15, which is free.

“It’s very exciting that things are opening back up. We can come out together as a community, celebrate the Air Force’s 75th anniversary and also the base being here for 80 years, which again, we could not do if it wasn’t for the community,” Bentley said.

Besides the Thunderbirds, other aircraft will perform in the skies.

“The historic flight foundation, which is a local place, is going to bring the B-25 which we affectionately named ‘Grumpy,'” said Major Raychel Bates, the show’s Air Operations Director.

There’s a lot of planning that goes into it to make sure you have an amazing experience.

Small bags, blankets and chairs are allowed. Leave your pets, large bags and coolers at home. The gate opens at 9 a.m. and performers will hit the skies at 12 p.m.

People will not only be able to enjoy the airshow but there will also be an opportunity to take a look inside military planes stationed on the ground.

Because we’re still in a pandemic, the base is still working to ensure a safe time.

“Stuff like having it outdoors keeps everybody. Any indoor stuff is in a big hangar, which if we need to we can open up the doors to treat as an outdoor space again,” said Lt. Col. Harrison Gipple, the show’s director.

Col. Bentley says the event is not only about showcasing what local Air Force members do every day, it helps recruit the next generation of Airmen. 

Air Force officials are fine-tuning a few things, such as parking. The Thunderbirds will close out the day at 3:15 p.m.

You can sign up on the air show’s website for notifications to get updates on changes or other important information.

READ: U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds to headline SkyFest 2022

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