Arctic Thunder: What you need to know before the open house

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - You will see them and hear them in the skies over Anchorage all weekend long. They are the top pilots and aircraft participating in the 2018 Arctic Thunder Air Show and Open House.

USAF Thunderbirds fly at the 2014 Arctic Thunder open house. (KTUU)

For those who plan to actually venture onto Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, June 30-July 1, for the event, there are some important things you need to know before heading onto base.

First of all, you need to arrive via the Boniface or Fort Richardson gates, which open to the public 8:30 a.m. each day. Public access to the base for Arctic Thunder will end at 2 p.m.

More than 250,000 people have attended in previous years, so getting there early will get you a better spot.

Click here for the full schedule of events, but the opening ceremony each day is scheduled for 10:30 a.m., The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds are the headline show to end the day. At 2:00 p.m. the entry gates are reconfigured for outbound traffic only, and the Open House neds at 5:00 p.m.

Organizers recommend you bring along:

  • Water bottles; free water-refill stations will be available

  • Sunscreen

  • Hearing protection

  • Sunglasses

  • Sun hats/baseball caps

Prohibited items include:

  • Coolers

  • Alcohol

  • Backpacks

  • Duffle bags (anything larger than 20"x10"x10")

  • Large purses

  • Camelbacks

  • Paint

  • Balloons

  • Large camera bags

  • Illegal drugs including marijuana

  • Weapons

  • Military uniforms worn by non-military members

  • Gang or motorcycle club affiliated colors or clothing

  • Bicycles (inside the open house viewing area)

  • Motorcycles & bicycles ridden on base outside of viewing areas must wear a helmet

  • Scooters

  • Skates

  • Skateboards

  • Go-carts

  • Wagons

  • Umbrellas

And before you leave home, keep in mind that this is one place your pet is not welcomed. Only service animals assisting physically challenged guests, will be allowed into the Arctic Thunder grounds.

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