Airshow weekend rundown

Planning to go to the airshow in Great Falls this weekend?

Here’s some things to know. For even more info, visit the airshow website.

Event schedule

Friday, July 21, 5-9:30 p.m.: The Military Affairs Committee is hosting an event at Gibson Park. Free admission and families are welcome. The Air National Guard Band of the West will be playing and pilots from the Thunderbirds and other performers will make an appearance. Concessions will be available. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.

Saturday and Sunday, July 22-23: Gates open to the public at 9:30 a.m. at the Montana Air National Guard on Gore Hill. Aerial demonstrations will run from about 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Aerial demonstrations include: The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, Shetterly Squadron, Vampire Airshows, U.S. Navy F-18 Tac Demo, USAF Academy Wings of Blue, Jump Team, Rifle Airshows, G & M Airshows, Radial Rumble, Jacquie B Airshows, Smoke n’ Thunder Jet Truck, UH-1N helicopter, C-130 cargo plane, B-52 bomber.

Thunderbirds have landed in Great Falls

Static military and civilian displays and equipment will also be available for viewing
featuring a hands-on A-7 cockpit and Precision Exotics sport cars.

How to get there

Airshow organizers recommend that you take the bus since there’s limited parking at the event. There are four different parking lots available at CMR High School and Parking Lot 1 is the primary. The bus will depart CMR beginning at 9 a.m. and run every 30 minutes, approximately, until 6 p.m. for final drop off.

Airshow 2017 parking

For parking at the event, take I-15 to exit 270 at Ulm, follow Frontage Road north to parking. Parking along I-15 is prohibited. Violators will be towed at owner’s expense. Airport Bench Road will be closed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday due to aerial demonstrations. There is no RV or overnight parking available during the air show.

Thunderbirds arrive in Great Falls airspace next week

Handicapped parking will be available inside the 120th Air National Guard base, but vehicles must have an official handicapped tag to get onto the base.

What to leave at home

ALL bags will be briefly inspected as you come through flight line entry points and all individuals are subject to search. To keep delays to a minimum, remember that the following items are not permitted on the installation. Persons with any of the following prohibited items will not be admitted.

  • Ice chests or coolers, except when necessary for medicine or baby food
  • Large bags (bags larger than a small purse or fanny pack), duffle bags, briefcases, large camera bags
  • Backpacks.
  • All weapons (regardless of permit) including: firearms, knives (including pocket knives and multi-tools), walking sticks (except for handicap use) and all other items that the security force deems dangerous. Any confiscated items will not be returned.
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Pets (other than service animals)
  • Glass containers
  • Bicycles, roller skates, roller blades or skateboards

What’s okay to bring

All authorized items will be inspected prior to entering the flight line. It is recommended that spectators minimize the number and size of authorized items to reduce the time required for inspection prior to access into the spectator area. The following items are permitted:

  • PCS/cellular phones, pagers and FRS transceivers (may be asked to turn off /on)
  • Handheld portable televisions, radios and scanners (non-transmitting) – sound & public address may simulcast over FM radio if available
  • Small fanny packs, and purses and handbags (subject to search)
  • Cameras and camcorders (owners should not load film prior to entering the show area as they may be required to open all compartments at security checkpoints)
  • Folding chairs and lawn chairs (chairs in bags subject to search)
  • Umbrellas and sunshades (less than 42” vertical when set up)
  • Wheelchairs, walkers, scooters or other ADA compliant devices – please check the traffic and parking plan for handicapped parking directions
  • Baby bags and strollers, if attending with an infant or small child


  • Smoking is not permitted anywhere on the flight line in the vicinity of aircraft, vendor tents or chalets – only designated smoking area please.


  • ID will be required for purchase of alcoholic beverages.
  • Concessions will be cash or credit card only – ATMs may or may not be available.
  • Unattended bags and packages will be removed from the premises.
  • Neither strollers nor wheelchairs will be available for rent at the event – please check the traffic and parking plan for handicapped parking directions.
  • Sun protection, including hat, long-sleeved shirts and long pants and sun screen are recommended.
  • Hydration: Water will be available throughout the air show area – You may bring an empty water bottle to fill for free.
  • Wear comfortable, protective footgear; portions of the flight line are paved but general parking and some viewing areas are not – avoid injury and blisters and plan on walking around
  • All vendor vehicles will be subject to search.