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Thunderbirds air team to fly into Grand Forks in 2020

The Thunderbirds, a demonstration squadron within the U.S. Air Force that performs across the country, has announced a performance in Grand Forks two summers from now.

The group will be at Grand Forks Air Force Base from Aug. 1 to 2 in 2020, according to its website.

“The Thunderbirds coming in 2020 is a big deal for Grand forks,” said Barry Wilfahrt, president and CEO of the Grand Forks and East Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce. “The last time they were here it was 2010, and I mean it just packed the entire city. Because the Thunderbirds are a huge draw, obviously when you get a big jet team like that it’s exciting.”

Base Commander Col. Ben Spencer applied last year to host the Thunderbirds, said Chief of Public Affairs Lea Greene. A press release from the base added it has already formed a planning team to develop the show, which will be free and open to the public.

There are 120 personnel from over 30 fields involved with the team, 24 of whom the website said are on the Thunderbirds showline. Each officer joins the squadron with at least three years of Air Force experience to serve a two-year touring term.

Emily Allen

Allen joined the Grand Forks Herald to cover local government and politics May 2018. Call her at 701-780-1102, email her at or follow her on Twitter, @Emily_theHerald.

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