MINDEN — Business came to a screeching halt in Carson Valley on Thursday afternoon as residents and shopkeepers stepped outside to watch the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds streak across the sky.
As many as 10-15,000 visitors are expected to attend the Aviation Roundup today and Sunday at Minden-Tahoe Airport.
After buzzing Carson Valley, the Thunderbirds landed at Reno-Tahoe Airport where they talked about the show.
“We are very excited to be here for two reasons,” Maj. Joshua Boudreaux, pilot of the No. 2 plane, said. “One, our jobs as ambassadors in blue is to connect the community with the military. And with Reno being the home of the Air National Guard, it is especially important here. Also, we want to go outside the typical walls to tell our stories, as well as the stories of the other airmen and women currently serving our country.”
While the U.S. Air Force aerobatic team will be the headliner, the show will feature several aerial acts, including the U.S. Navy’s Super Hornet.
Ten acts will round out the weekend, each performing with the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada, an aspect the Louisianan-native pilot enjoys.
“The landscape is awesome,” he said. “When you’re 24,000 feet and flying with a rocket behind you and a bubble over your head everything is gorgeous. From the ranges we flew over to the historical area of Beatty Corridor. We saw parts of Yosemite, and Mammoth. And Lake Tahoe was just beautiful. I’m looking forward to sticking my toes in.”
The Thunderbirds will streak, roll and loop through the sky beginning at 3 p.m. each day.
A total of eight planes will be a part of the show, two spending a majority of the show inverted.
“Flying is amazing. These things are like a sports car. It’s a ride like no other. But that’s not the best part. The best is the incredible individuals I get to work with on a daily basis and get to meet all over the U.S. Being able to tell these people about what the Air Force is about and get the word out about our military is a humbling experience.”
Tickets for the event are $10 a day for adults, $5 for children 12-17, and $30 for a family pack. Children younger than 12 are free.
Gates open at 10 a.m. and close 5 p.m. daily, with opening ceremonies at noon. For more information or tickets visit www.aviationroundup.com, or call 782-9871.