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Weekend air show is as big as it gets at Lewis-McChord

Post by Matt Misterek / The News Tribune on July 15, 2010 at 5:48 pm with No Comments »
July 15, 2010 5:48 pm

Ground crew members prepare the Patriots Jet Team planes for takeoff at the Olympia Regional Airport Thursday.
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.

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