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Grissom Air Show set for booming return

First show in more than 15 years to return in 2019

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AEROBATICS — The Grissom Air and Space Show will return for the first time since 2013 on Sept. 7 and 8.

Once again the skies over Grissom Air Reserve Base will thunder for the pleasure of the masses.

During a special meeting of the Howard County Military Foundation, 434th Air Refueling Wing late last year, Commander Col. Larry Shaw let the crowd know that Grissom’s popular air show would be making a triumphant return in nearby Miami County.

The last time the air reserve base held an air show was in 2003, and since then, the event, which drew crowds estimated to be around 60,000, has gone dark. But, at the behest of the base’s commander, this year Grissom will host the 2019 Air and Space Expo on Sept. 7 and 8.

Headlining the show will be the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, the Air Force’s “premier aerial demonstration team.” They’ll be joined by other military and civilian aviation acts as well.

Last August the base put out a release, noting the event already had been in production for some time.

“We’ve got an aggressive team working diligently to ensure we put on the best show possible,” said Shaw. “We’ve been laying the foundation for this event for six months already, working behind the scenes, getting paperwork in place to ensure we are doing things right.”

And, it’s been revealed that not only will the show be returning, but it also will be accessible to anyone who wants to attend, carrying no admission fee.

“This is a great way for our neighbors to visit and see what their taxpayer dollars are spent on,” said Lt. Col. Douglas Hays, the 434th Air Refueling Wing Public affairs operations chief. “We’ll have a variety of both civilian and military acts as well as aircraft and hardware static displays.”

It’s also been revealed that another act will headline the show as well. During the expo The Golden Knights, a U.S. Army parachute demonstration team, will also perform. The Golden Knights are one of three Department of Defense-sanctioned aerial demonstration teams and hail from North Carolina.

To keep up to date on what’s to come for the return of the Grissom Air Reserve Base Air and Space Expo, while the event’s website is under construction, follow the 434th ARW on Facebook and Twitter.