Airforce Thunderbirds Will Perform in 2008 AirFest

Airport Lands Thunderbirds for AirFest 2008

Rockford, IL – Today, the US Air Force Thunderbirds announced in Las Vegas at the annual International Conference of Air Shows (ICAS), that the Thunderbird Team will be performing at the Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD) during AirFest 2008, to be held on  June 6, 7, & 8, 2008.

Executive Director Bob O’Brien said the announcement today by the United States Air Force that the Thunderbird Flight Demonstration Team will participate as a featured act during the airport’s 4th annual AirFest “is truly a dream come true.” “This will permit us to grow the AirFest program in such a way, that it will attract better than 150,000 people to the Rockford community, and clearly establishing AirFest as a regional event for the tri-state community.”

After an extensive review and selection process, Rockford was one of a handful of Midwest cities selected to host the jet team. The Thunderbirds last performed in Rockford in 2006.

“I’m personally excited for the community,” said Brian Boyer, the Airport Authority’s appointed liaison to the AirFest Committee. “With three consecutive air shows now under our belt, we are prepared to take AirFest to the next level in terms of crowd attendance, air show line up, and our première ground show. We fully expect to exceed 150,000 people over the three-day event, which is great for not only our airport, but also for the community. We are so proud to bring such a high-caliber event to the area allowing us to create greater airport awareness for RFD, while show casing our city,” he said.

In addition to the Thunderbirds, AirFest 2008 will also feature a wide variety of civilian and military acts, static displays, fireworks, food and souvenir vendors, educational displays, and a wide variety of kids’ activities. AirFest Manager Geoff Oman said that this year’s show will not only include a superb lineup of military and civilian performers but he also said that AirFest organizers are working hard to enhance the “ground show” which will include pyrotechnics, fireworks, an impressive variety of war birds and other aircraft static display, as well as carnival rides, and other activities for kids and families.

“What we strive for at AirFest is to make it a well-rounded family event. Both our air and ground portions of the show are geared so that attendees are never without something to do. I think that is one of the things that differentiate us from other events in the region,” said Oman.

Tickets for AirFest 2008 will be available online beginning in early January 2008 and additional AirFest information will be posted regularly on the airport’s web site at

For additional information contact Bob O’Brien at 815-969-4444.

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