UPDATE: On February 15, 2013 Luke AFB announced that the 2013 open house is canceled, citing federal budget cuts as the reason.
Luke Days is a special event held at Luke Air Force base every other year (in the odd years). The two-day show is a unique combination of aerial demonstrations, military aircraft ground displays, exhibits, and attractions. In 2011 more than 200,000 people were estimated to have attended. In 2013, the theme for the event is "Storm on the Horizon."
When is the Luke Days event?March 16 and 17, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Gates open at 9 a.m. and scheduled flying acts begin at 11 a.m.
Where is it?It can be a little complicated getting to the event, since this is a secure, operational Air Force Base. You will park in a lot that has a shuttle to and from the event. There will be a parking charge.
How do I get tickets and how much are they?There are no tickets. This is a free event for everyone and it's a unique family activity.
What else should I know about Luke Days?The 2013 Luke Days "Storm on the Horizon" open house will feature several exciting acts and dozens of static displays. The headlining act, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, will be performing both Saturday and Sunday. There will be an F-16 close air support demonstration and a Marine Corps AV-8 Harrier demonstration, among others.
Although more than 100,000 people attend each day of Luke Days, there's plenty of room for everyone. Chairs are permitted this year. If you have young children, bring a stroller or wagon for them. You can bring bottled water. Leave the pets at home. No coolers or backpacks are allowed.
Children love Luke Days. When your kids start to get a little bored you can take them to visit the kids' zone. Visitors will buy tickets for activities there, on an individual basis or by all-day wristband. Tickets will be discounted for military families. Of course, there are also many military airplanes on the ground that they can walk right up to. In some cases, they can get inside. Those static displays are free.
Bring your binoculars, and bring the camera. Dress in layers -- it can be cold in the morning even if it warms up later in the afternoon. For most of the shows, you'll be looking up, so there's little reason to try to get a position in front. Be prepared with ear prtoection, since it can get loud. I recommend buying a package of those foam, disposable ear plugs from any pharmacy. That should be enough for the whole family. With all that looking up at the sky, don't forget the sunscreen!
What if I have more questions?For more information, visit Luke Days online.
All dates, times, prices and offerings are subject to change without notice.