Thunderbirds announce 2017 show sites of the year


The Traverse City National Cherry Festival-Air Show team poses for a photo with Maj. Erik Gonsalves, Thunderbird #8/Advance Pilot and Narrator, Dec. 4 after receiving their Civilian Show Site of the Year award at the International Council of Air Shows in Downtown Las Vegas, Nev. The award highlights air show sites that put on the best show and go above and beyond expectations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stephanie Englar)

The Traverse City National Cherry Festival-Air Show team poses for a photo with Maj. Erik Gonsalves, Thunderbird #8/Advance Pilot and Narrator, Dec. 4 after receiving their Civilian Show Site of the Year award at the International Council of Air Shows in Downtown Las Vegas, Nev. The award highlights air show sites that put on the best show and go above and beyond expectations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stephanie Englar)

The Wings Over Pittsburgh Air Show team poses for a photo with Maj. Erik Gonsalves, Thunderbird #8/Advance Pilot and Narrator, Dec. 12 after receiving their Military Show Site of the Year award in the Thunderbirds Squadron on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The Thunderbirds team votes on the winner based on adherence to the support manual, organization and support of the performers. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stephanie Englar)

The Wings Over Pittsburgh Air Show team poses for a photo with Maj. Erik Gonsalves, Thunderbird #8/Advance Pilot and Narrator, Dec. 12 after receiving their Military Show Site of the Year award in the Thunderbirds Squadron on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The Thunderbirds team votes on the winner based on adherence to the support manual, organization and support of the performers. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stephanie Englar)

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — The United States Air Force Thunderbirds announced the military and civilian show sites of the year for the 2017 show season.

The Wings Over Pittsburgh Air Show was awarded the Military Air Show Site of the Year and the National Cherry Festival-Air Show in Traverse City, Mich. Was awarded Civilian Air Show Site of the Year.

“The entire squadron, all 12 officers and 120 enlisted, vote on the award,” said Maj. Erik Gonsalves, Thunderbird #8/Advance Pilot and Narrator. “The votes are based on the best adherence to the support manual, organization, and who showed above and beyond care for not just the Thunderbird team but all air show performers, volunteers and staff.”

The Thunderbirds have been presenting this award to the best military show site and the best civilian show site since 2009.

“The Show Site of the Year award highlights to the air show industry what show sites are putting on the best show,” Gonsalves said. “We ultimately look at how these shows help us in our goal of recruiting, retaining, and inspiring the next generation of Airmen.”

The Thunderbirds are currently training for the 2018 show season which includes 73 demonstrations in 39 locations around the country and in Toronto, Canada.

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