WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – We’re now just a day away from the start of the Westfield International Air Show at Barnes Air National Guard Base.
Thousands of people are expected to attend the air show Saturday and Sunday, which will feature the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.
This year’s air show theme is “A Century of Air Power.”
22News spoke with the commander of the 104th Fighter Wing at Barnes Air National Guard Base Friday morning, who told 22News what this weekend’s air show is all about.
“A century of air power is celebrating a 100 years since the U.S. military first entered an aircraft into combat,” Col. James M. Suhr said.
Suhr said the wing has been preparing for the air show for the last two years, with the most intensive preparations happening within this past year.
“We’ve done everything from planning logistics, safety, security, parking, traffic, and then we had a major accident response exercise just to be ready for anything that could possibly happen.” Suhr said.
The colonel told 22News he was inspired to join the Air Force after his father took him to an air show when he was 7 years-old.
Spectators will see more than a dozen aerial performances, including performances by the U.S. Army Black Daggers Parachute team, the Geico Skytypers, and the Third Strike Wingwalkers.
Static aircraft will also be on display on the flight line, and aircrews will be on hand to answer any questions about their aircraft.
Parking lots are scheduled to open at 6:30 a.m. Saturday morning.
Director of parking for this weekend’s event, Lt. Col. Steve Reynolds, told 22News they have a lot capacity of 12,000, and once lots fill, there will be no overflow parking areas.
Reynolds said they will be updating their website in real-time so that spectators can check to see if lots are full before they head out the door. His best advice: Car pool and come early.
Aerial performances will last from 10:30 to 4:30 p.m. each day.
Westfield International Airshow
Westfield International Airshow x