Keesler, Biloxi prepare to host Thunderbirds for spring air show

Thunder Over The Sound

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - It may still be a few months away but excitement is already growing as Keesler Air Force Base and the City of Biloxi prepare for the Thunderbirds to come to South Mississippi.

The show is called "Thunder Over the Sound” and it’s set for May 4-5, 2019. The two-day event will showcase the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds as they perform jaw-dropping aerial feats over the Mississippi Sound.

The air show will be a little different than previous ones hosted by Keesler. Instead of staying in one place throughout the day, the show will start off in the morning with various acts performing over the military base. Around 1 p.m., the plan is for the aerial acts to move over the Mississippi Sound, with the Thunderbirds headlining the show near the intersection at Highway 90 and White Avenue.

During a press conference Tuesday morning at Keesler, two pilots with the Thunderbirds joined officials from Keesler and the City of Biloxi. With Biloxi being an “Air Force town,” it’s a particularly special event for the Thunderbirds.

Inbound Thunderbird #8 Maj. Jason Markzon called it a “mindblowing” experience to be “here representing the 660,000 airmen, with 60,000 of them being deployed, and showcase the pride and professionalism that we do every day and that all of those airmen do every day.”

This is the first event of its kind to be sponsored by both the city and the Air Force base.

“This is the way we do a lot of things now," said Col. Lance Burnett, Vice Commander of Keesler’s 81st Training Wing. "We’re partnering with communities and they’ve been so energetic and aggressive with the partnerships on the base and we’ve taken full advantage of that and just extend it to the airshow as well.”

The two-day event is happening on May 4-5, 2019, in Biloxi.
The two-day event is happening on May 4-5, 2019, in Biloxi.

There will be an assortment of military and civilian aerial acts.

“The May 4th and 5th event is the perfect time," said Biloxi Mayor Andrew “Fofo” Gillich. "Everybody’s ready to get together for the start of the summer so I think it’s the perfect time.”

This is the first time the Thunderbirds have performed on the Mississippi Gulf Coast since 2015. The air show date was moved from its original date of April 13 and 14 to accommodate other events taking place in the area during the same weekend.

More details about specific acts performing at the air show, as well as parking information and other information, will be released in the coming months.

In July, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels awed thousands over the Mississippi Sound with its Blues Over Biloxi show.

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