Arctic Thunder air show lifts off in Anchorage: What you need to know

Planes will soar, plunge and loop-the-loop above Anchorage this weekend for the Arctic Thunder air show that draws thousands of Alaskans to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson for the performance in the sky every other year.

[2016 schedule for Arctic Thunder featuring the Blue Angels]

The free event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, wrapping up each day with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the aerobatic flying team, is returning to Arctic Thunder for its first time since 2010, according to the Alaska Air Show Association. Other performances include a C-17 demo, a P-51 Heritage flight, Wings of Freedom flyover and more.

Back on ground level, air show attendees can view military displays and a hangar will house activities for children.

This year, Arctic Thunder parking is accessed through the Boniface Parkway and Fort Richardson gates. Parking is free.

A full schedule of events is available at alaskaairshow.org. (It's the same flying sequence both days).

Here's a list of items you can and can't bring to Arctic Thunder:


• Water bottles
• Binoculars
• Lawn chairs
• Hearing protection (recommended by JBER)
• Small purses

Not allowed:

• Coolers
• Any large bags including backpacks, duffle bags and purses
• Umbrellas
• Bicycles, scooters, wagons and skateboards
• Military uniforms worn by nonmilitary members


Note: This story has been edited to reflect that the Arctic Thunder is not an annual event. It occurs every other year.

Tegan Hanlon

Tegan Hanlon was a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News between 2013 and 2019. She now reports for Alaska Public Media.