The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Air Demonstration Squadron are headlining the 16th Annual Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach this Memorial Day weekend, marking the unofficial start of summer. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Denise A. Rayder)

Dozens of aeronautic daredevils will fill the skies over Long Island with flips, loops, and countless other thrilling airplane stunts for the 16th annual Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach this weekend.

Headlining this year’s show is the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, the performance squadron that wows crowds nationwide with their F-16 Fighting Falcon trickery, including their signature “bomb burst” routine.

Also performing this year will be the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights, Team Oracle stunt pilot duo Sean Tucker and Jesse Panzer, Long Island’s own David Windmiller, Lt. Col. John Klatt, and many more.

With nearly a half-million attendees each day, this is the largest annual event on Long Island, so arrive early to get a good spot on the sand.

George Gorman, the regional director of the New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, said that this day is to really remember and honor those who have died fighting for our country.

“I’d like to make sure we pay tribute to the men and women who serve our country, the veterans and everyone who has given their lives for our country,” said Gorman. “That’s what Memorial Day is all about, so thank you for your service.”

For those at Jones Beach, the air show means the start of beach season and the unofficial kick-off to summer. Kristen Jarnagin, the president of Discover Long Island, said that the show also bring other good news as well.

“When [the air show] brings visitors from all over the world here, it supports more than 100,000 local jobs,” said Jarnagin. “So, on behalf of the $5.9 billion annual tourism industry, we are so honored to be a part of this event.”

Maj. Ray Geoffroy of the U.S Air Force’s Thunderbirds said that they are truly excited to be at Jones Beach this weekend, again to remember our fallen heroes. Geoffroy said the 130 men and women who make up the Thunderbirds are honored to represent the U.S. Airforce at Jones Beach for Memorial Day.

“We hope you get a small taste of what we do as airmen as you hear that wonderful jet noise this weekend,” said Geoffroy.

Jones Beach State Park, Ocean Parkway, Wantagh, bethpageairshow.com. Free. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. May 25, 26.

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