Thunder Over Utah, set for July 25-27 at the St. George Municipal Airport, promises an electrifying weekend. Aside from the main attraction, the Blue Angels, classic military aircraft and some of the world’s finest professional demonstration pilots will soar through the skies. Between performances, fans can enjoy aircraft displays and tours, vendors and the Kidz’ Zone, with aviation-themed activities for youngsters. A complete schedule has not yet been released.
“There’s lots to see on the ground and in the air,” marketing director Herb Gillen said. “Of course, the Blue Angels are the headlining act, but there’s much more.”
Tickets are on sale now at ThunderOverUtah.com. Until Feb. 8, “early bird” pricing offers general admission at 40 percent off. Kids age 15 and under enter for free.
The inaugural Thunder Over Utah in March 2012 featured performances by wingwalker Carol Pilon and aerial acrobatic pilot Jeff Boerboon, a WWII ground combat re-enactment, and a rare appearance by the F-22 Raptor. Many other active-duty and retired military aircraft were on display to the crowd of 35,000.
Airport manager Rick Stehmeier said that fans can expect an even better show this year, with improved traffic control, parking and facilities, and more cooperative weather (previously, high winds and wet skies threatened canceled some performances and made for an unpleasant visitor experience).
Among the most skilled pilots in the U.S. military, the Blue Angels have delighted fans around the world with daring combinations of speed and grace for over 65 years. They fly at nearly 600 mph, executing precision maneuvers that often leave their wingtips less than 18 inches apart.
“The Blue Angels are the draw,” Stehmeier said. “(Their demonstration) is loud, fast, exciting and beautiful too. Very seldom do we get an opportunity like this.”
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