Despite the Thunderbirds having to unexpectedly cancel their performance, thousands turned out for the first ever "Wings Over Warren Air Show" at F.E. Warren Air Force Base on Wednesday.

"It was extremely well attended and it looked like people were having fun," Public Affairs Officer 1st Lt. Jon Carkhuff said of the drive-in movie style event, which featured the A-10C Thunderbolt II, F-22 Raptor and F-35A Lightning II demonstration teams.

"It was a great opportunity ... to kind of show that stuff off and bring the community some joy during this time that's been really difficult," Carkhuff added.

The Thunderbirds were scheduled to headline the show, but had to pull out after a few of their team members tested positive for the coronavirus.

"Initially people were saddened that the Thunderbirds weren't coming, because obviously that's just a long-standing tradition here, but I don't think people truly appreciated what our F-22 and F-35s can do," said Col. Brian Rico, who chairs the Cheyenne Frontier Days Military Committee.

"It was a first for Cheyenne to look at our modern day aircraft," he added. "That was really good to see, because that's not something that the Thunderbirds are able to do."

Rico says the base "will absolutely try to bring the Thunderbirds back" next year, but he wouldn't speculate as to what the show might look like.


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