The USAF Thunderbirds will perform both days

The 2017 “Thunder Over Dover” open house at Dover Air Force Base promises an exciting time for all.

A series of aerial demonstrations and ground displays not seen in the First State since 2009 will take place Saturday and Sunday.

This year marks the Air Force’s 70th anniversary, and the entire year is devoted to “Celebrating Our Heritage,” event Public Relations Officer Capt. George B. “Bernie” Kale said.

The organizers are ready to welcome more than 200,000 guests to participate in a rare behind-the-scenes experience, he said

“‘Thunder Over Dover,’ Team Dover’s first open house in eight years, is an excellent opportunity to share this heritage with the greater Delmarva community,” he said.

The public will be admitted to the base only through the North Gate, at the intersection of Del. Route 10 and U.S. Route 13, Kale said.

The gate will open at 9 a.m. both days.

Opening ceremonies will take place at 10 a.m., with aerial demonstrations starting at 11 a.m. The show will end at 5 p.m. each day, Kale said.

There will be additional parking at the Bergold Farm on Route 9, with shuttle service to the airfield every five to 10 minutes. The Air Mobility Command Museum, adjacent to the Bergold Farm, will be open both days.

Limited additional parking at the AMCM is available. However, all vehicles must leave the lot by 5 p.m. There is no overnight parking.

There are five bus/RV parking areas at the museum, available on a first-come, first-served basis.

“We’re going to trace the history of air power in the United States Air Force,” said Lt. Col. Todd Walker, 436th Logistics Readiness Squadron commander and 2017 Thunder Over Dover Open House ground boss. “You’re going to get a little bit of World War II all the way up to present day.

“Not only that, you’re going to get to talk with a lot of folks who have been a part of those eras. They’re going to be out there talking about the history of their planes, and they’ll actually show you around their planes.

“It’s going to be a historical time,” Walker said.

Both days, the schedule is packed with aerial demonstrations, including the USAF Thunderbirds, the Army’s Black Daggers parachute team, a P-51D Mustang demonstration and aerial acrobatics. There will also be more than 30 static aircraft displays in addition to the more than 40 displays at the Air Mobility Command Museum.

To fully enjoy the show, Kale suggests bringing:

- Hearing protection

- Sunscreen

- Comfortable shoes

- Water bottles/canteens

- Binoculars

- Camera bags, no larger than 12x12 inches

- Strollers

-Folding chairs/stools

Everyone entering the base is subject to search by base security forces and at any time while on the installation.

Prohibited items include weapons of any kind, toys that resemble firearms, fireworks, Silly String, spray paint, glass containers, alcohol and illegal drugs, bicycles, skateboards, roller blades and skates, coolers, large umbrellas or portable tents and backpacks or rucksacks.

Pets are prohibited, except for service animals.

Delaware’s Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs announced Aug. 16 the John Dickinson Plantation, which is next to the Bergold Farm parking areas, will be closed the weekend of the 0pen house. It will reopen Tuesday, Aug. 29.

For a full schedule, a list of performers and static displays, maps, and a detailed list of suggested and prohibited items, visit the Thunder Over Dover page at