The Owensboro Air Show has announced the official 2023 lineup. The show will be led by the Air Force Thunderbirds, one of the world’s most prolific flight demonstration groups. The Air Show will take place September 15-17.
The full lineup, as announced Wednesday morning on the event’s Facebook Page, is as follows:
- Air Force Thunderbirds
- Wings of Blue – USAF Parachute Team
- Kevin Coleman
- Bill Stein Airshows
- Army Aviation Heritage Foundation
- Aeroshell Aerobatic Team
- GhostWriter Airshows
- Gregory W Colyer/Ace Maker Airshows
The Owensboro Air Show was on hiatus in 2022 and was also not held in 2020.
“I’m excited to be able to announce the rest of our airshow lineup for this year. It is a great mix of some legendary military aircraft, in addition to some fan favorites that have been here in the past,” said City of Owensboro Public Events Director Tim Ross.
The Thunderbirds last appeared at the 2015 Air Show and drew large crowds reaching upward 30,000 in attendance, according to estimates by local officials. The 120-member team is made up of 8 pilots that fly the iconic F-16 Fighting Falcon plane through different air shows and performances across the country.
“For the premier demonstration team in the world to select Owensboro again for their show schedule in 2023 is something our city should be really proud of,” Ross said in December 2021 when the Thunderbirds first announced they were returning.
Earlier this year, two Thunderbirds team members were in Owensboro for a site visit as they began preparations. They said fireworks, smoke displays, and non-stop maneuvers can be expected in the action-packed and fully revamped performance.
Major Jeffrey Simmer Downie, who flies Thunderbird 8, said “There’s a big-bang, high-energy opening. There’s different changes in tempo, there’s crescendos, and there’s false finales before that to build up to the actual finale. It’s an incredible performance. We’ve changed the timing for maneuvers across show center. It’s less of doing one maneuver and then sitting and waiting for another jet to show up. It’s very in-your-face, action-packed, 20 seconds from smoke off to smoke on again.”
The weekend will kick off September 15, when many of the aircraft will be on display and some will do demonstrations at the Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport from 4-7:30 p.m. Ross said organizers anticipate adding some additional aircraft in the coming months for the activities at the airport on Friday evening. The cost to attend is $5, though children 10 and under, as well as veterans and active-duty military, are admitted free.
The Air Show will then take place from 12:30-4:30 p.m. on September 16 and 17 along the riverfront. Admission is free, though there is some reserved seating available for purchase at the Convention Center. To purchase or for more details about those options, click here.
The City has also previously announced that the U.S. Navy Blue Angels will return to Owensboro for the 2024 Air Show. The Blue Angels headlined the 2018, 2019, and 2021 shows.
“It is a real testament to the city of Owensboro to be able to attract two premiere U.S. military jet teams in back-to-back years with the Thunderbirds headlining our show in September 2023 and the Navy Blue Angels headlining again in September 2024,” Ross previously said. “The Air Show is a signature event for the city that attracts fans from all over the country and I am excited to continue that tradition in the coming years.”