Air show to be an Air Force showcase at reserve base

VIENNA — The Thunder Over the Valley Air Show and Open House will provide two days of free fun, entertainment and facts about the history of the U.S. Air Force as well as information about where it is headed.

Corresponding with the 70th anniversary of the U.S. Air Force, the air show will highlight the fighter aircrafts and machinery used by airmen from World War II to the modern era.

“We have parking to accommodate 20,000 people per day,” said MSgt. Bob Barko Jr., superintendent of the 910th Airlift Wing’s Public Affairs Office. “This year’s show was put together to be bigger and better than any show we’ve had here in the past.”

Barko described the Youngstown Air Show as being one of the nation’s signature events recognizing the Air Force’s birthday.

“We will have aircraft from each era from World War II to the modern era,” Barko said. “There should be something for anyone interested in the Air Force and modern aviation.”

Thunder Over the Valley will feature the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds; U.S. Air Force Drill Team; Team Fastrax, which performs with the largest American flag at 7,800-square feet; a C-130H Hercules demonstration from the 910th Airlift Wing; a Shockwave Jet Truck demonstration; and a Canadian Harvard Aerobatic Team performance. The show also will feature performances of the Air Force P-51 Mustang, which were the planes flown by the Tuskegee Airmen; Air Force B-17 “Texas Raiders”; the MiG-17F, which was the primary enemy aircraft engaged in the skies over Vietnam by U.S. aircraft; and the the North American F-86 Sabre, which was designed in the 1940s as a subsonic fighter aircraft.

Gates for the Air Show will open at 9 a.m. The U.S. Air Force Silent Drill Team will perform at 10:50 a.m. and the opening ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. Gates will close at 2:30 p.m., with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds performing demonstrations at 3 p.m.

Parking locations reserved for the 2017 Thunder Over The Valley Air Show and Open House will be handicapped accessible. They include Delphi Electric/Phantom Fireworks, 1265 North River Road NE, Warren, and the Kent State University at Trumbull campus/Trumbull Career and Technical Center, 4314 Mahoning Ave., Champion.

The Delphi lot will open at 8 a.m., with the first bus leaving the lot at 8:30 a.m. The next lot, Phantom Fireworks, will open when the Delphi lot is filled. The Kent Trumbull lot will open when the Phantom Fireworks lot is filled, followed by the TCTC lot. The last bus will leave for the Youngstown Air Reserve Station at 2:30 p.m.

Those going to the air show should not go to lots they are not directed to by officials. All of the parking lots are within a couple miles of each other.

Radio stations broadcasting live traffic updates throughout the show, including active parking locations, are 570 AM, 570 WKBN; MIX 98.9 FM; HOT 101 FM; Y-103, 102.9 FM; and K105, 105.1 FM.

Visitors are allowed to bring small purses or fanny packs, cameras and/or camcorders with “small” camera bags, diaper bags, baby strollers, “small” lawn chairs only, wheelchairs, canes, guide/working dogs to assist disabled individuals and water in unopened, clear plastic bottles only.

Visitors may not bring weapons, ammunition, tasers, pepper spray or explosives of any kind onto the base. They also may not bring wheeled devices, including bicycles, skateboards, rollerblades, etc.; scanners; alcohol or food; backpacks and large handbags; coolers; cans, bottles or liquids of any kind; or pets.

The U.S. Air Force Reserve and the 910th SecurityForces Squadron reserve the right to deny entry to persons bringing items deemed dangerous by law enforcement officials, according to the event’s website.