Preparing for Thunder in the Valley - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Preparing for Thunder in the Valley

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

This time next week, tens of thousands of visitors will find their way to the Waterloo Regional Airport for the inaugural Thunder in the Valley airshow. The event has taken months of intense planning, and is expected to bring a major economic boost to the area.

The Thunderbirds are an elite team of highly trained Air Force officers. They have spent years perfecting maneuvers to showcase America's strength, integrity, and excellence in the air. However, organizers in the Cedar Valley have had to learn, quickly, what to expect from the ground.

Members from the Waterloo Kiwanis Club, along with other community leaders and emergency teams, have met on a regular basis to coordinate every aspect of the event. As Chris Harshbarger explained, they've planned everything from security measures to finding just the right ladders.

"If we don't have everything in order..." Harshbarger paused, and then laughed, "I guess they don't fly! But we do have everything checked off."

They're projecting to host approximately 50,000 spectators Saturday and Sunday. In order to get thousands of drivers in, and out, of the Regional Airport they're implementing a rigorous parking plan.

"We've tried to systematically develop the entrance system. When people come in, all that we ask is that you be courteous, follow directions, and watch where people are going," said Harshbarger. "You may want a special parking place. If you do -- park where you're told, come find me, and next year we'll get you your very own parking space."

That's right, they are planning a next year. Because even before the Thunderbirds touch down, organizers already know the payoff is going to be big.

"It's going to be a fabulous good time," Harshbarger added.

The Kiwanis club is paying homage to the men and women who are serving, or have served, our country as part of the Thunder in the Valley event. They're also hoping the show will inspire a new generation to consider joining the military.

"Thunder in the Valley" takes place August 27th & 28th at the Waterloo Regional Airport.

Advance tickets are on sale at area Hy-Vee's, or online, for $10.

Tickets will be available at the gate for $15.

Click here for more information, or to purchase online tickets.

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