Wings Over North Georgia returns as drive-in air show featuring Thunderbirds

Wings Over North Georgia to Host Drive-In Air Show

ROME, Ga. — There’s never been another drive-in like this.

Experience F-16 Falcons, the United States Air Force Thunderbirds, skydivers and aerial performances at the Wings Over North Georgia Air Show on Oct. 24-25. This year, it’s a drive-in show.

“Many events and most air shows have been forced to cancel during the pandemic,” said John Cowman, the show’s organizer. “My team and I have worked diligently with local and regional officials and authorities to find creative and safe ways to host this year’s air show and avoid cancellation. We transitioned to a drive-in air show model that fully satisfies the wide range of safety concerns while allowing us to bring exciting entertainment at a family-style venue to the residents of the tri-state area. We believe this is the ‘shot in the arm’ our community needs right now, especially during the fall, one of the most beautiful times of the year in our area.”

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The U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, and the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, honored frontline COVID-19 first responders and essential workers with formation flights over New York City, New Jersey and Philadelphia on April 28, 2020. This photo was taken as the formation flew over the Lincoln Financial field in Philadelphia. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. George Roach)
The U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, and the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, honored frontline COVID-19 first responders and essential workers with formation flights over New York City, New Jersey and Philadelphia on April 28, 2020. This photo was taken as the formation flew over the Lincoln Financial field in Philadelphia. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. George Roach) (Master Sgt. George Roach/Joint Force Headquarters, Pennsy)

To provide a safe environment for air show attendees, the 2020 event will utilize a drive-in format for the air show, offering spectators a mix of social distancing while watching some of the top military and civilian aviation performers.

Russell Regional Airport will be transformed into a giant drive-in style parking lot for the event. Tickets must be purchased in advance. None will be sold onsite during the show.

General airfield parking tickets cost $130 per vehicle with a limited number of front row airfield parking tickets available for $300 per car. There will be no restrictions on the number of people admitted per car as long as there are as many installed seatbelts as passengers.

The United States Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron “Thunderbirds” execute a practice demonstration over Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, Houston, Texas, Oct. 18, 2019, in preparation for the Wings Over Houston airshow. The team is comprised of 130 Airmen from more than 25 different career fields, representing all 685,000 total force Airmen serving around the globe. (U.S Air Force Photo by Maj. Ray Geoffroy)
The United States Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron “Thunderbirds” execute a practice demonstration over Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, Houston, Texas, Oct. 18, 2019, in preparation for the Wings Over Houston airshow. The team is comprised of 130 Airmen from more than 25 different career fields, representing all 685,000 total force Airmen serving around the globe. (U.S Air Force Photo by Maj. Ray Geoffroy) (Maj. Raymond Geoffroy/Air Force Thunderbirds)

Each car will be assigned a 10′ x 20′ space for the vehicle with an adjacent 10′ x 20′ private space for tailgating. The single front row spots will have an additional 100 sq. ft. of space. Guests are allowed to bring their own chairs, tables, non-alcoholic beverages and food. Beverages and food will also be available for sale on-site. Attendees must remain in their assigned parking spot unless using the restroom or purchasing food or beverages.

The Thunderbirds will serve as the headlining and final performers on Saturday and Sunday in their six signature red, white and blue F-16 Falcons. The USAF Thunderbirds are internationally known for their hard-charging demonstration of precision formation flying, pushing their F-16 “Fighting Falcons” to the limit. Known as “America’s Ambassadors in Blue,” the Thunderbirds have traveled throughout the world performing before millions of spectators. The U.S. Army Golden Knights and the U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II Demonstration Teams will round out the lineup of military performers.

Members of the U.S. Army Golden Knights black demonstration team, jump over Atlantic City, N.J. on Aug. 12, 2014. The Golden Knights are participating in Atlantic City's "Thunder Over the Boardwalk" Airshow. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman Amber Powell/Released)
Members of the U.S. Army Golden Knights black demonstration team, jump over Atlantic City, N.J. on Aug. 12, 2014. The Golden Knights are participating in Atlantic City's "Thunder Over the Boardwalk" Airshow. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman Amber Powell/Released) (Airman Amber Powell/U.S. Air Force)

Opening ceremonies will begin each day with the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team. The elite group of skydivers will launch the start of aerial performances during the national anthem and will later return for a full demonstration highlighting the skill and expertise of the world’s top military parachutists.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Cody “ShIV” Wilton, A-10 Demonstration Team commander and pilot, performs a demonstration the day before an air show at Ocean City, Md., August 14, 2020. The demonstration team is scheduled to perform at the upcoming Ocean City Air Show August 15-16th. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kristine Legate)
U.S. Air Force Maj. Cody “ShIV” Wilton, A-10 Demonstration Team commander and pilot, performs a demonstration the day before an air show at Ocean City, Md., August 14, 2020. The demonstration team is scheduled to perform at the upcoming Ocean City Air Show August 15-16th. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kristine Legate) (Senior Airman Kristine Legate/355th Wing)