An estimated 300,000 visitors are expected to converge on McChord Field Saturday and Sunday for the biggest public event this year at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
They’re coming to enjoy the first air expo since 2008 (it’s now held roughly every two years), the first since Fort Lewis and McChord became a joint base, and the first in a long while not to feature a performance by the elite Thunderbirds flying team.
Instead the marquee act this year will be the privately operated Patriots Jet team. We had a photographer and reporter up in the air with them today.
Here are some essential details about how to do this weekend’s expo:
Where: McChord Field
When: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Flying demonstrations: 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Cost: Free and open to public
Main Gate access: Exit 125 off Interstate 5
Barnes Gate access: From Pacific Avenue South, turn west onto Military Road and follow it you reach the Barnes Gate.
Free parking: Directions will be given upon arrival at a gate.
Free bus service: Pierce Transit buses will run every 15 minutes starting at 7:30 a.m. from two sites: in the parking lot behind the Barnes & Noble and Target stores at Lakewood Towne Center, and the Lakewood Sounder Station, 11424 Pacific Highway S.W. All bus service, including return bus service, will stop running about 3 p.m. each day for the Patriots Jet Team aerial demonstration. Return bus service will resume upon the conclusion of the demonstration and run until about 5 p.m. In 2008, about 7,000 people rode buses to and from the show.
Bus information: 253-581-8000
Air Expo information: 253-982-EXPO
Restrictions: No people convicted of felonies or with warrants; no weapons (even if you have a concealed-weapons permit).
Show website: Click here.