SAN ANTONIO — Out with the flower crowns, in with the binoculars.
With Fiesta 2022 celebrations behind San Antonio, preparations for another annual south Texas spectacle, the Great Texas Airshow, are in their homestretch. Here's what you need to know before heading to the event this weekend.
What is it?
It's all in the name: The Great Texas Airshow promises to deliver sky-high demonstrations and on-the-ground exhibits, all while hosting "some of the best acts from across the Department of Defense." The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, known for their breathtaking aerial acrobatics, are also scheduled to make an appearance.
You can also expect demonstrations from military jump teams, combat simulations and exhibits from a whole host of groups.
Plus, this year marks the 75th anniversary of the U.S. Air Force's founding, so the airshow carries a certain historical resonance in 2022.
When is it?
It's scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days. Gates open at 9 a.m., while planes will begin taking to the sky at 11 a.m.
How much is it?
The airshow is free to the public.
Where will it be held?
At Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, near Universal City, off Loop 1604 near Highway 78. There's a public parking area just outside the base, and buses will shuttle attendees from there to the base entrance.
Directions to get to the parking area can be found here.
This isn't the Thunderbirds' first time in San Antonio, right?
Correct! They flew over the city in March of 2020, as a tribute to frontline workers in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.
Can I bring in a water bottle or cooler?
No. Airshow organizers have a list of items that won't be allowed onto the base. In addition to outside food or drinks, it includes:
- Firearms, knives or stun guns.
- Non-clear backpacks (an exception is small diaper bags).
- RC vehicles, including drones.
- RVs, motorhomes and trailers.
- Ice chests or coolers.
- Pets (unless they're service animals).
- Glass containers.
- Laser pointers, awnings, umbrellas.
- Cigarettes or vape pens.
What about seating?
Organizers are encouraging the public to bring folding chairs, as well as ear plugs (you'll nee them).
Is there a masking requirement?
Only on buses shuttling visitors between the parking area and the base, where face coverings are a must.
Is there a list of aircraft that will be on display?
Yup, and you can find it here.
Among them are the T-38 Talon supersonic jet, Black Hawk helicopter, the World War II-era Valiant trainer and B-29 Superfortress, and the P-51D Mustang fighter plane.
What will the weather be like?
Both mornings this weekend will begin with overcast skies, high humidity levels and mild air in the upper-60s, KENS 5 Meteorologist Ryan Shoptaugh says. A few light morning showers will be possible. With breezy southeast wind gusts of up to 20 to 25 mph, this will keep the air moving as afternoon highs climb into the upper-80s.
A few spots will approach 90 degrees both Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Clouds will stay stubborn both afternoons with a few breaks in the sky. An increased chance for rain moves in Sunday evening, after the airshow has wrapped up.