HILL AIR FORCE BASE -- The big show is back.
After a successful show in summer 2009, Hill Air Force Base officials announced Thursday the biennial air show at Hill will be back again in 2011.
The two-day show will take place Sept. 24-25 and will feature the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and the U.S. Army Golden Knights.
Various aircraft also will perform throughout the day.
The Hill air show has been a popular Utah tradition since 1956, but it was canceled in 2008 when the Air Force's premiere demonstration team, the Thunderbirds, couldn't be booked.
Seemingly making up for lost time, Hill hosted not only an air show in 2009, but a weeklong series of events, called Air Force Week: Salt Lake City.
This year's show won't feature an entire week's worth of events leading up to it, but officials at Hill are excited nonetheless.
"The open house is a great way to showcase the Air Force and Hill Air Force Base," said Col. Patrick Higby, 75th Air Base Wing commander. "We're excited to be able to display the amazing capabilities of our airmen and the true power of the U.S. Air Force."
Col. Matthew Deyo, 75th Operations Support Squadron commander at Hill, said the cost of the air show is shared by both Air Force appropriated funds and the Military Affairs Committee.
"The Military Affairs Committee pays for the majority of the expenses to support the air show," Deyo said.
In years past, the show has been held in the late spring or early summer. This year's fall date was necessitated by the availability of the Thunderbirds.
"In order to have the Thunderbirds perform for us, we had to move it to September," Deyo said. "They are performing overseas in the spring when we normally schedule (the) open house."
Deyo said over the two-day show, Hill is expecting 500,000 spectators to come through the gates. The 2009 show had more than 400,000 spectators, while the 2006 show had approximately 340,000.
The general public is invited to the open house on the flight line to enjoy food from various vendors, learn about an assortment of aircraft and see demonstrations of air power.
As in years past, the 2011 air show will be free to the public.