There will be no Thunder & Lightning Over Arizona in 2017.
Check back in 2018 for updates!
Hey Tucson! You’re invited to Thunder and Lightning Over Arizona, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base’s Annual Open House.
Lt Erin Ranaweera explained, “This is an opportunity for the base to show our appreciation to the great Tucson community. We are opening the gates to D-M and giving you the chance to learn more about who we are and what we do while you enjoy fabulous aerial demonstrations.”
What are the dates for the 2017 Thunder and Lightning Over Arizona Open House?
There will be no Thunder and Lightning Over Arizona Open House in 2017, but please check back in 2018!
What is the location of Thunder and Lightning Over Arizona?
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base
What are the hours?
- 9:00am-5:00pm on both days
What is the schedule/agenda for each day?
A full schedule will not be posted due to possible delays and scheduling. However, the aerial demonstrations will being at 11 and the Thunderbirds at 2pm. That said, the Open House is an opportunity not only to see those amazing performances, but also for the community to get a behind-the-scenes look at life on the base. Gates will open at 9:00am.
Why would I go to Thunder and Lightning Over Arizona?
- To attend a fun event for the whole family
- To watch aerial demonstrations
- To walk around 45 different static aircraft
- To meet the airmen on base
- To learn about D-M and the Air Force
What “documentation” is required to get on to the base on the days of the open house?
No documentation is required. This is a free event and the base will be open to the public throughout the weekend.
How much does it cost?
Admission is FREE. No tickets are available or required for general entry.
What is the parking situation?
General Parking is FREE. Personal vehicles are allowed entry through general public access areas.
The Craycroft and Swan Gates will be open for general public entry to the Open House.
The Craycroft Gate is located at Craycroft Road and Golf Links Road. It will be open for inbound Open House traffic only, Saturday and Sunday from 9am until 2pm. The Craycroft Gate will be open for outbound traffic only, Saturday and Sunday from 3pm to 5pm.
The Swan Gate is located at Swan Road and Golf Links Road. It will be open for inbound (2 lanes) and outbound (1 lane) Open House traffic, Saturday and Sunday from 9am until 2pm. The Swan Gate will be open for outbound (3 lanes) Open House traffic only, Saturday and Sunday from 3pm until 5pm.
Personnel will be in place to direct traffic both days of the event.
What should I wear?
Temperatures in this region in mid-April range from 49°F to 86°F, often with blue skies and lots of sun. The temperature is rarely below 65 degrees or above 94 degrees. The event is outdoors so good walking shoes and light layers are advisable. Sunglasses, sunscreen, and hats would also come in handy.
What is the seating like? Should people bring pop-up chairs and/or umbrellas?
There will be a small number of bleachers available on the flight line for seating. Pop-up chairs and umbrellas are not permitted, however there are sunshades on the flightline (normally shading the A-10s) that will provide more than enough shade for visitors. Chairs will be available for rent for $5 for the whole day.
***If you would like guaranteed seating and optimal viewing for aerial demonstrations, you can join the Flight Line Club or reserve Box Seating. Depending on which option you select, you can receive access to catered meals, shaded seating, private restrooms, and more.
What should I bring with me?
A camera! You’ll also want to bring water bottles to stay hydrated.
Admission is free, but you’ll probably want to bring some cash for food, drinks, chairs, and souvenirs.
Please also bring non-perishable food items for the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. The general public can drop off donations at the collection point near the Swan Gate. Base personnel can drop off their donations at the collection point next to building 5600. There will also be signs posted the day of the event directing individuals to the food drive collection points.
Note that coolers, backpacks, large purses, camera bags, camelbacks, bicycles, and wagons will not be permitted.
Are bathrooms available?
Porta-potties will be located throughout the flight line and all visitor areas for easy access and to reduce the lines.
Is outside food allowed at Thunder and Lightning Over Arizona?
Outside food will not be permitted (there is an exception for baby food and formula), however there will be numerous vendors with food for sale on the flight line throughout both days.
What dining venues are available on-site?
Eegees will be providing a full menu throughout the open house weekend. Maui Wowi will be selling smoothies + coffee. Other standard fair/festival food will also be available for purchase: burgers, hot dogs, gyros, pizza, churros, etc.
What restaurants are located near Davis-Monthan Air Force Base?
You might want to consider Mama’s Famous Pizza & Heroes (3.6 miles away at 6996 E. 22nd St), Smashburger (3.7 miles away at 6970 E. 22nd St), Brushfire BBQ Co (3.7 miles away at 7080 E. 22nd St), or Jason’s Deli (4.6 miles away at 6061 E. Broadway Blvd).
BABIES & KIDS
Can kids attend Thunder and Lightning Over Arizona?
Yes! There will be numerous static aircraft displays where kids can get up close and touch airplanes. In addition, various units on base will be showcasing their missions and their equipment [including the Explosive Ordinance Pyrotechnics unit]. There will also be bouncy castles and other activities in the Kid Zone for smaller children.
Should I bring a stroller?
Yes. A stroller will likely be useful as you walk around the base with little ones.
Will I need earplugs for myself or my children?
Yes. DM recommends that you bring ear protection for yourself and your children.
Is there a designated area for nursing moms?
Are changing tables available?
What about my other “baby” (dog, cat, etc)?
All pets are prohibited from the Thunder and Lightning over Arizona grounds. Service animals assisting physically challenged guests will be authorized.
Is the Festival wheelchair accessible?
Yes, there will be handicap parking and the flight line is completely wheelchair accessible. There is also a Hero’s Day Friday, which will be hosting those who need more individual attention.
WHERE TO STAY
What hotels do you recommend for visitors to Thunder and Lightning Over Arizona?
Is Davis-Monthan Air Force Base active on social media?
What else do I need to know before I go to the Thunder and Lightning Over Arizona Open House?
This is a popular event! Crowds can be thick and the sun can be intense. Be sure to bring plenty of water and wear sun protection. That just about covers it. Have a great time! Feel free to leave any additional questions in the comments and we’ll respond ASAP.