GREAT FALLS — Great Falls will host "Flight Over The Falls," a military air show and open house, headlined by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team.
The entry-free event will be held at the Montana Air National Guard/Great Falls International Airport on Saturday, July 23, and Sunday, July 24, featuring aerial demonstrations both days.
And while the aerial performances will be on the weekend, the skies over Great Falls will begin roaring on Thursday, July 21, as the planes begin to arrive ahead of the show.
The event website says: "This event will surely thrill everyone during its two-day span, and it’s free and open to the general public. Static military and civilian displays and equipment will also be available for viewing."
The event is co-sponsored by the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base and the 120th Airlift Wing of the Montana Air National Guard.
Master Sgt. Devin Doskey of the Montana Air National Guard provided the following details:
- Parking will open at 8 a.m. in the south area and on 120AW property for civilians with an invitation
- Gates to the Flight Line open at 9 a.m.
- Opening Ceremonies at 10:15 a.m.
- Air Acts end at 3 p.m.
- Flight Line closes by 5 p.m.
- Visitors arriving from Great Falls direction can access main parking via Gore Hill exit or travel to Ulm and take the frontage road to the parking area.
- Visitors arriving from the Helena direction can access main parking via the Ulm frontage road.
- After the show traffic will all route to Ulm until such time that local law enforcement deems that normal traffic flow will effectively move over the Gore Hill interchange
- The Great Falls Ice Plex will be offering a Park and Ride option.
- We are encouraging private organizations downtown to offer a similar service if they are able to help reduce traffic congestion
- There will be no centralized shuttle service as in 2017
- Law Enforcement will be in place to facilitate traffic flow
- Estimating between 35,000 and 50,000 person crowd size for the weekend
- Shuttle services will be provided from the main parking area to the security checkpoint and also on to the Flightline.
- F-18 Rhino Demo Team
- Jelly Belly aerobatics
- Third Strike Wing Walkers
- A-26 Invader “Miss Kay” with Firewalkers Pyro
- P-51 Mustang “Dakota Kid” with Firewalkers Pyro
- Undaunted Airshows with Firewalkers Pyro
- Ace Maker T-33 with Firewalkers Pyro
- Brad Wursten Airshows MX-2
- USAF Thunderbirds
- Event will be patrolled by a Multi-Agency law enforcement presence
- First Aid will be available and staffed by members of the 341st and 120th Medical Groups
- Emergency services will be available by our local healthcare agencies and Great Falls Emergency Services
- Aviation safety will be supported by the FAA, Ralph Royce Airboss Services, and the 120th Operations Group
NOTE: At this point, organizers have not said what time the Thunderbirds will perform - however, they are usually the final act to perform, so it likely they will perform between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.
The Thunderbirds last performed in Great Falls in July 2017. KRTV reporter Margaret DeMarco got the ride of her life in one of the jets: