More than 200,000 people are expected to attend the “Lightning in the Desert” Air Show and Open House March 15 and 16. The event is open to the public and admission is free.
It is two days of nonstop entertainment, but a few tips can help make the experience more pleasurable for guests.
Traffic in the areas surrounding Luke Air Force Base will be heavy. There will be limited access between Camelback Road and Olive Avenue and between Reems Road and the Arizona Loop 101. Gates open at 9 a.m. and flying begins at 11 a.m. both days.
During the open house the 56th Security Forces Squadron and Glendale Police Department would like to minimize traffic congestion and provide spectators and Luke personnel quick access to the base and parking areas.
All spectators coming to the show will have to pass through a security checkpoint prior to entering the base. Guests are asked to have all purses and other allowable bags open for search at the checkpoints.
The following items will be allowed to be brought onto the base, but will be checked: cameras with bags, folding chairs (highly recommend due to limited available seating), diaper bags or any type of bag containing medical supplies, strollers and wagons for toddlers, handicapped items such as wheelchairs and official service dogs.
The following items are prohibited from coming on base: coolers, backpacks, outside food, weapons (if it has a blade it will not be allowed on base), firearms of any type, toys that resemble firearms, fireworks, spray paint and silly string, glass containers of any kind, alcohol, illegal drugs, bicycles, skateboards, heelies, roller skates, rollerblades, ruck sacks, backpacks and pets.
Guests are allowed two full, sealed, nonmetal water bottles per person. There will be free water-refill stations and concessionaires for refreshments available for purchase.
Wear comfortable walking shoes, sunglasses, hats and casual clothes. Sunscreen and hearing protection are recommended. For those who prefer not to carry their own chairs, rental chairs will be available for the day at $5 each.
The Thunder Club features an exclusive viewing area with indoor and outdoor seating located in the center of the show. On-base parking passes for the general public are available for the first 400 purchasers. Cost to be a Thunder Club member is $100 per adult per day and $65 per child per day. Children, age two and younger, are free. There will also be a shaded tent with tables, linen and chairs; VIP restroom facilities; catered food and beverage services featuring afternoon complimentary finger foods and nonalcoholic beverages. A lunch buffet will be provided from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. along with a cash bar from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.