Colorado Springs, CO

Times and locations for Thunderbird viewing during Air Force Academy graduation week

Colorado Jill
Image by Todd MacDonald from Pixabay

(Colorado Springs, CO) Graduation week is here, and that means the Thunderbirds are too! One of the highlights of the U.S. Air Force Academy graduation is the flyover by six F-16 Fighting Falcons.

On Wednesday, May 25, from approximately 12:30 to 1:00 p.m. the Thunderbirds will conclude the 2022 Air Force Academy commencement ceremony with a 30-minute aerial demonstration.

If you don't have a graduation ticket, onlookers can still enjoy the show from several northern Colorado Springs locations.

The Western Museum of Mining

The Western Museum of Mining is located just outside the north gate of the Air Force Academy which makes it a great place to watch the Thunderbirds. This year they are hosting "Picnics and Planes." For a $5 donation per car, you can enjoy the show from the museum grounds.

Bring your chairs and a picnic lunch, or purchase a meal from the Little Bears Sloppy Joes & Ice Cream Float food truck.

Location: 225 North Gate Blvd, Colorado Springs

The Church at Briargate

The Church at Briargate will open its parking lot from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for people to watch the Thunderbird show. There is no charge, and they are offering free lunch starting at 11:30 a.m. This event is open to the public, so invite your friends and neighbors.

Location: 9550 Otero Avenue, Colorado Springs

In addition to the graduation performance, there are also opportunities to see the Thunderbirds on Monday and Tuesday. According to a U.S. Air Force Academy news release, the planes are scheduled to arrive in Colorado Springs on Monday, May 23. They plan to conduct a survey flight between 11:15 and 11:30 a.m. and will land at Peterson Space Force Base.

On Tuesday, May 24, the Thunderbirds will fly a practice mission over Falcon Stadium. There will be road closures and detours at the Air Force Academy from 11:30 a.m. through 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, but the exact timing of the practice run has not been released yet. Check for updates on the Thunderbirds' Twitter feed.

Where is your favorite place to watch the Thunderbirds?

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Colorado Springs, CO

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