HILL AIR FORCE BASE -- A little more than a month away, Hill Air Force Base's 2012 air show promises to be the biggest yet.
The free open house and air show will be held at the base May 26-27. This year's show, dubbed "Warriors Over the Wasatch," will feature aerial demonstrations and displays.
"We want the taxpayers to have a chance to see exactly what we do," said Lt. Col. Juris Jansons, 75th Operations Squadron commander and this year's open house and air show coordinator. "We want them to see some of the things we're doing on a daily basis."
The U.S. Air Force's premier demonstration team, the Thunderbirds, will headline the show, but a number of other acts, including the Red Bull parachute jump team, the MiG Fury Fighters, who perform mock dog fights in the sky, and Dan Buchanan, a paraplegic hang glider, will also perform.
Pilots from Hill's own 388th Fighter Wing will also fly at the two-day show.
Hill's gates will open for the show at 8 a.m. both days, but the show won't begin until 10 a.m.
"We want to allow people to come in before the show starts, so they can park and get settled," Jansons said.
Jansons said parking and shuttles will be available for free at the base.
Hill has budgeted more than $200,000 for the show, but this year's event also received a boost from the private sector.
Kevin Ireland, director of the Top of Utah Military Affairs Committee, said his organization has budgeted another $200,000 for the show.
Ireland said donations have been made by several corporations, contractors affiliated with the base and several Top of Utah cities.
The Utah Legislature even appropriated some money for the show.
"Our job is to just enhance what the base already has to offer," Ireland said. "We see it as a great opportunity for both the Air Force and the Top of Utah community as a whole."
The air show was last held in 2009 in conjunction with Air Force Week Salt Lake City, a weeklong event celebrating the Air Force's impact on the Wasatch Front.
Ireland said the 2009 show brought in about 470,000 spectators. He expects this year's show to go beyond that.
"We had a good crowd, but on the second day, it rained most of the day," Ireland said. "So, if the weather cooperates this year, we figure we'll have at least a half-million people attend."
The air show was originally scheduled to take place in September 2011 but was cancelled because of the economic climate at the time.
Patrons will be allowed to bring in food and drinks, but coolers will not be permitted on base for security reasons, Jansons said.
For a complete list of air show performers and information on other items restricted on base, visit www.hill.af.mil/warriorsoverthewasatch or theutahairshow.com.