Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes
HILL AIR FORCE BASE — More than half a million people from all over the country will make their way to Hill Air Force Base this weekend to attend the Warriors Over the Wasatch Air and Space Show.
The free show, returning after a four-year hiatus, is projected to be bigger and better than ever before.
Saturday and Sunday, June 25 and 26, showgoers can anticipate stunning aerial displays and world-class acts like the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, as well as Hill Air Force Base's very own F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team.
"We have people that come from eight different states to come and see this show because it's one of the largest in the western United States area," said Kevin Ireland, executive director at the Utah Air Show Foundation. "People actually plan their family vacations around stopping at Hill to catch this show because it is such an event and it is so large."
In addition to the aerial displays and static aircraft (parked aircraft that give showgoers the chance to get an up-close-and-personal experience), a wide array of civilian and military aircraft will be on display, including helicopters, fighters, bombers, large cargo transports and refuelers, as well as military ground transport and combat vehicles.
With a long-awaited buildup and unprecedented anticipation for the event bringing people in by the hundreds of thousands, dealing with traffic and getting to the show may pose challenging, Ireland said.
How to get there
The best 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 points south and north and ride the train up to the Clearfield station, jump on a bus (and) they'll take you right to the flight line," said Lt. Col Joseph Michaels, air show coordinator for the Warriors Over the Wasatch Air and Space Show. "They're doing a great package for a family of four for $15 — it's the way to go, you don't want to get involved in traffic."
While FrontRunner doesn't usually run on Sundays, Michaels confirmed that it will be running Sunday, making the air show one of the only events in the state where FrontRunner operates on a Sunday.
For people unable to utilize the FrontRunner, there will be limited parking available at the Clearfield Station for those wishing to take advantage of the shuttle buses.
Other parking lots for the air show include the Weber State Davis Campus, off University Parkway Boulevard and Northridge High School off Hill Field Road. Shuttle buses will be available to take attendees to the show and will run continually from these lots.
The final option for parking is on the base. Showgoers can enter through the Roy and West Gates and will be directed to parking lots just inside those gates. No attendees will be admitted through the South Gate. Directions to these gates can be found here.
Parking along state Route 193 to view the show is strictly prohibited as it affects traffic flow and creates a safety issue, the base said in a news release.
Gates open at 8 a.m. and the event kicks off around 9:55 a.m., with nonstop performances all day long until around 4:30 p.m., depending on scheduling and how the flying goes.
What you can and can't bring
Folks can find more information about the show, what can and can't be brought on base, and information on how to best prepare for hot June temperatures here.
Prohibited items include: weapons – real (regardless of permit) or replicas/toys, coolers, pets, tents, large lawn chairs, bikes, scooters, skateboards and rollerblades, wagons or glass containers of any kind.
Large bags or backpacks must be smaller than 10 inches by 10 inches, excluding diaper bags, camera cases and fanny packs, and all bags will be subject to search.
Patrons are allowed to bring water bottles, cellphones, prepackaged and sealed snack foods/baby food, strollers, sunscreen, ear protection, medications, handheld umbrellas, blankets and accessibility equipment, if necessary.
Smoking, drug use or outside alcohol is also not allowed at the base.
"This is going to be a big one," Michaels said. "This is one you don't want to miss, for sure."