Luke Days is a special event held at Luke Air Force base every other year, currently in the even years. The two-day show is a unique combination of aerial demonstrations, military aircraft ground displays, exhibits, and attractions. The theme in 2016 was "75 Years of Airpower." and the show hosted more than 425,000 spectators. We are awaiting details about the 2018 event.
Dates and Times
March 17 and 18, 2018. In previous years the event was from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Scheduled air shows have begun at 11 a.m.
Location, Directions, and Parking
It can be a little complicated getting to the event, since this is a secure, operational Air Force Base. Handicapped and parking pass holders will be able to park on the base. Entry for those cars will be at the North Gate on Litchfield Road. There is a limited number of handicapped parking spots, so if the lot is full when you get there, Parking Lot B with the shuttle is your second option.
All others will park in off-property lots. In previous years there has been a $10 charge to park. You can either walk or take a shuttle to and from the event. Walkers will park in Parking Lot A (from the Loop 101, exit on Glendale Ave. and drive west towards Litchfield Road). Those wanting to park and shuttle will park in Parking Lot B (from the Loop 101 exit at Olive Ave, drive west to Litchfield Road, turn left (south)).
There will be some street closures in the area as it is very busy. Leave extra time to get there and be patient. More details about parking and restrictions are outlined online.
The Arizona Department of Transportation usually provides detailed motorist information, including any travel or road restrictions, for this event. Call 5-1-1, then *7. The call is free.
In previous years there have been no tickets. This has been a free admission event for everyone and it's a unique family activity.
VIP tickets, which include tent, table, chairs, private restrooms, food, drink throughout the day, and parking pass, are typically available to purchase in advance online.
The 2016 Luke Days "75 Years of Airpower" open house featured several exciting acts and dozens of static displays. The headlining act, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, performed both Saturday and Sunday along with other aerial performance teams. Airmen who carry out the Luke mission of "Training the World's Greatest F-35 and F-16 Pilots" were in attendance.
Tips for Visitors
Although more than 100,000 people attend each day of Luke Days, there's plenty of room for everyone. Chairs have been permitted. If you have young children, bring a stroller or wagon for them. You can bring bottled water.
Children love Luke Days. When your kids start to get a little bored you can take them to visit the kids' zone. 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 as 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 protection, since it can get loud. We recommend buying a package of those foam, disposable ear plugs from your pharmacy. That should be enough for the whole family. With all that looking up at the sky, don't forget the sunscreen and sunglasses.
What to Leave at Home
- Toys that resemble weapons
For more information, visit Luke Days online which will be updated with details closer to March.
All dates, times, prices and offerings are subject to change without notice.