Air Show Answers

Air Show Answers

There is a lot of moving pieces to an event this large. We hope to provide information to answer your questions and better help you plan your time at the Air Show.

Yes! Please show your handicapped parking placard to the traffic directors and they will let you know where to go for handicapped parking. 

Handicapped parking is close to the entry control point so there is not a shuttle.

There will be shuttles from parking areas further from the entry control point to the flightline entrance.

Please note, to see the many displays along the flightline will require a lot of walking. Feel free to bring a wheelchair, walker, or scooter if need be.

Premium Box Seats are reserved seats located directly on the flight line, providing an outstanding way to view the air show. This area offers “in and out” privileges throughout the day for guests to enjoy the static displays, concessions, souvenir booths and exhibitors.

The following items are not allowed at the Air Show:

  • Backpacks, ice chests and coolers. 1
  • Any bags larger than a small purse or fanny pack. This includes duffle bags, briefcases and large camera bags.
  • ALL weapons (regardless of permit) including: firearms, knives (including pocket knives and multi-tools), walking sticks (except for handicap use) and all other items that the ECP Lead deems dangerous. Confiscated items will not be returned.
  • Alcoholic beverages that are not purchased in the event.
  • Pets (other than service animals, no emotional support animals).
  • Glass containers.
  • Bicycles, roller skates, roller blades or skateboards.
  • Illegal drugs (includes marijuana and derivatives, regardless of state legalities)2
  • Drones/remote controlled vehicles
  • Walkie talkies

    1) Except for medical needs
    2) Possession of marijuana/derivatives is still a crime on federal property
    * Exceptions will be made for diaper bags or bags carrying necessary medical equipment such as Oxygen tanks

To better enjoy the show, feel free to bring your fold out chairs and re-fillable water bottles (water filling stations will be available).

Yes, ATMs will be available on the flightline. To avoid lines and fees, we recommend bringing cards or cash.

There is plenty of parking on-base for all spectators. General attendees should plan on entering the base from Exit 63, travelling East on HWY 1416 and entering the base via Commercial Gate Rd.

There will be directional signage, traffic directors, and shuttles from designated parking areas. 

Unfortunately, No. However, you can contact WestJet Air for aircraft parking, hangar space, and fuel. Be sure to tell them you are coming in for the Air Show.

The Ellsworth Air Show is free and open to the public. Ellsworth Air Force Base and the 28th Bomb Wing are thrilled to host the public on their amazing installation and show the impressive capabilities of the bomb Wing and the United States Air Force! 

There is Premium Seating available for purchase, and there will vendors selling food and merchandise. 

No drone zone


There will not be a dedicated photography area. If you plan on bringing your camera equipment, you're sure to get some amazing photos. However, plan on having your bag searched as you enter the show.

If you are media, please contact the 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs office at (605) 385-5056.

Yes. However, large camera bags are not permitted. Bring only necessary camera equipment, leaving extra attachments at home. A small fanny pack or vest is useful for carrying small lenses. All these items are subject to search.

Yes, however we do not allow glass containers, ice chests, coolers, bags larger than a small purse or fanny pack, backpacks, or Camelbaks. Exceptions will be made for medical supplies or infant formula purposes. All items brought through the gates are subject to search by security personnel. 

Yes. We recommend bringing refillable water bottles. There will be water stations available where you can fill your water bottles. 

Yes! We have many great vendors for food and merchandise attending the Air Show. Keep in mind that ATM access is limited so you may want to bring cash and/or a card with you.

Yes. You will just have to re-enter through security each time. 

Smoking is only allowed in designated areas.

There will be opportunities to purchase a beverage at the Air Show. However, you are not permitted to bring it on-base with you.

No. You do not need a military ID to access the base for the Air Show on May 14-15 between the hours of 9 a.m.  and 5 p.m. However, if you are driving you will need a valid driver's license.

Yes! This is the best part of the Air Show! Many of the performers make themselves available for autographs and pictures during the show.

By the nature of the event, there are times when the noise level gets pretty high. There will be many aircraft taking off, landing, and performing. It's going to be so cool! However, you may want to bring some hearing protection, especially for your little ones. 

For the most part, the performances will be the same both days. We do know that the B-2 will only be able to be here on Saturday. 

There is limited shaded seating throughout the flightline. You can find shade under some of the larger static displays, as get out of the sun while you check out the amazing STEAM displays in the Pride Hangar.

Yes. We encourage you to use small bags and know that all items are subject to search at the security entry point.

Unfortunately, pets are not allowed. Exceptions will be made for service animals. 

Yes. Lawn chairs, camp chairs, blankets, and small umbrellas (the kind that fit in a purse) are allowed. Lounge chairs, large umbrellas, beach umbrellas, and canopies are not permitted. All items are subject to search.

In the event of inclement weather, some flying demonstrations may be delayed. Unless the weather poses a serious threat to the safety of visitors and participants, the show will proceed as scheduled with some modifications. 

On both Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15 gates will open at 9:00 a.m. MT and close at approximately 6:00 p.m. MT.

On both Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15 the flying program will begin around 11:00 a.m. MT. 

Firearms are not allowed on base, even when locked in a vehicle. 

Motorcycles are welcome at the Air Show.

Helmets and eye protection, long sleeved shirt or jacket, long trousers, full fingered gloves, over the ankle shoes and a brightly colored vest must be worn while operating a motorcycle on base.


Yes! If you are looking for a way to avoid the traffic, there is a park & ride service at The Black Hills Visitors Center off of Exit 61. 

You can purchase tickets HERE.

Park & Ride is operated through Black Hills Adventure Tours. Cost is $30 per person, round trip. 

With this much going on, something is bound to get lost. Here's some info in case something goes missing. It's terrifying when it happens, but should a child get separated from family, here are some ways to help track them down. 

  • Free identifying wristbands available at both entry points (parents can write phone numbers etc)
  • Primary location in PRIDE Hangar, manned table at civilian entry area as well
  • Dedicated phone line for lost children/items – 605-385-LOST
  • Lost items must be claimed prior to leaving the Air Show

Bags should be no more than 12x24x4"

The drawstring bag shown here is acceptable to bring to the Air Show. 

clear drawstring

Avoid regular back packs like this:

prohibited backpack


Yes! There will be shuttles from on-base parking locations to the flightline entrance control point.

There will not be shuttle service outside of the base.

A local company is offering a Park & Ride option. You can find out more about this option HERE.