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Thunderbirds visit Gulf Coast to promote 2019 air show

Keesler and Biloxi leadership, along with two U.S. Air Force Thunderbird pilots, pose for a photo during a press conference formally announcing Thunder Over the Sound: The Keesler and Biloxi Air and Space Show at the Biloxi Visitors Center, in Biloxi, Mississippi, Dec. 18, 2018. The press conference reviewed and confirmed information and acts for the air show and allowed attendees to meet with and ask questions of all speakers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Keesler and Biloxi leadership, along with two U.S. Air Force Thunderbird pilots, pose for a photo during a press conference formally announcing Thunder Over the Sound: The Keesler and Biloxi Air and Space Show at the Biloxi Visitors Center, in Biloxi, Mississippi, Dec. 18, 2018. The press conference reviewed and confirmed information and acts for the air show and allowed attendees to meet with and ask questions of all speakers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Jason "Flack" Markzon, inbound Thunderbird pilot #8, delivers remarks during a press conference formally announcing Thunder Over the Sound: The Keesler and Biloxi Air and Space Show at the Biloxi Visitors Center, in Biloxi, Mississippi, Dec. 18, 2018. Markzon was joined by Keesler and Biloxi leadership at the press conference which reviewed and confirmed information and acts for the air show and allowed attendees to meet with and ask questions of all speakers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Jason "Flack" Markzon, inbound Thunderbird pilot #8, delivers remarks during a press conference formally announcing Thunder Over the Sound: The Keesler and Biloxi Air and Space Show at the Biloxi Visitors Center, in Biloxi, Mississippi, Dec. 18, 2018. Markzon was joined by Keesler and Biloxi leadership at the press conference which reviewed and confirmed information and acts for the air show and allowed attendees to meet with and ask questions of all speakers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Andrew "Fo Fo" Gilich, Biloxi mayor, speaks with U.S. Air Force Col. Lance Burnett, 81st Training Wing vice commander, and Maj. Jason "Flack" Markzon, inbound Thunderbird pilot #8, during a press conference formally announcing Thunder Over the Sound: The Keesler and Biloxi Air and Space Show at the Biloxi Visitors Center, in Biloxi, Mississippi, Dec. 18, 2018. The press conference reviewed and confirmed information and acts for the air show and allowed attendees to meet with and ask questions of all speakers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Andrew "Fo Fo" Gilich, Biloxi mayor, speaks with U.S. Air Force Col. Lance Burnett, 81st Training Wing vice commander, and Maj. Jason "Flack" Markzon, inbound Thunderbird pilot #8, during a press conference formally announcing Thunder Over the Sound: The Keesler and Biloxi Air and Space Show at the Biloxi Visitors Center, in Biloxi, Mississippi, Dec. 18, 2018. The press conference reviewed and confirmed information and acts for the air show and allowed attendees to meet with and ask questions of all speakers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --
Keesler Air Force Base and Biloxi leadership hosted a press conference featuring two U.S. Air Force Thunderbird pilots at the Biloxi Visitors Center to formally announce the ‘Thunder over the Sound: The Keesler and Biloxi Air and Space Show’ Dec. 18.
Col. Lance Burnett, 81st Training Wing vice commander, and Biloxi Mayor Andrew “Fo Fo” Gilich hosted the event and introduced Maj. Branden “Ash” Felker, outgoing Thunderbird #8, and Maj. Jason “Flack” Markzon, incoming #8.

“We are truly honored to be working with Biloxi and the surrounding Gulf Coast area to make this amazing event happen,” said Burnett. “I think it will be a testament to the strength of our community bonds.”

The air and space show will feature numerous acts headlined by the Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team. The event will be divided into two portions; the morning portion, taking place on Keesler from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., will feature a number of smaller air acts, ground demonstrations and static displays. The afternoon portion will be taking place along the beach just off U.S. 90 with White Avenue being show center from 1 to 5 p.m.

“We are excited to come out and perform for you,” said Felker. “Just being here and representing the 660,000 Airmen, 60,000 of which are deployed. We can’t wait to showcase the pride and professionalism of what those Airmen do every day.”

The City of Biloxi is also excited to bring the Thunderbirds to the coast making it the second air show the city will host in two years.

“We couldn’t be happier to have these incredible pilots back here performing their astounding air acts for you,” said Gilich. “I think they will produce a wonderful show and demonstrate what makes this the greatest Air Force in the world.”

While many acts for the air show are being finalized, the event will feature an assortment of warbirds, civilian air and ground acts, demonstration teams, and statics displays and musical entertainment, in addition to the Thunderbirds, who are back in the area for the first time since 2015. Below is the current list of finalized acts attendees can expect at the show.

• Twin Tigers: Yak 55’s (the 2019 International Council on Air Shows Platinum Pinnacle Award Winner in the Civilian Performer category)
• Wild Blue Rodeo: RV-8
• Jeremy Holt: Pegasus Biplane
• Smoke N’ Thunder Jet Truck: Twin Jet Engin 57 Chevy pickup, capable of speeds of 350+ mph
• Scott Francis Air Shows: MXS (one of only 12 in existence)
• Greg Koontz & the Alabama Boys – Xtreme Super Decathlon and a 1946 Piper J-3 Cub
• Additional ground display will be a Mobile Interactive Aviation Museum featuring an A-7 and F-101 cockpits for attendees to climb into.