BAFB: Masks not required in tailgate spaces at upcoming Defenders of Liberty Airshow


BAFB Defenders of Liberty Airshow 2021 (Source: Barksdale Air Force Base)

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — Masks will not be required within tailgate spaces at the upcoming Defenders of Liberty Airshow at Barksdale Air Force Base set for May 8-9.

That’s the word from airshow organizers, who say they have “new guidance from the base regarding masks.”

When plans to move forward with a “drive-in format” for the airshow were first announced in February, the base said the public will be asked to help “defend the defenders” by following specific attendance guidelines, including wearing a face mask that covers the nose and mouth. Those plans initially included the requirement to wear masks within tailgate spaces due to the levels of the coronavirus in the region at the time.

Now that the COVID numbers and outlook for the region have improved, spectators will only be required to don masks when crossing boundaries from tailgating spaces and when walking to and from restroom facilities.

Attendees will be able to download free tickets to reserve 20-by-20-foot tailgating spaces where they can park their vehicles and set up tables and chairs if they wish, as long as they fit in the space. The number of people allowed in each tailgating space will be limited to the number of seatbelts in the vehicle.

Spectators are asked not to sit or stand on their vehicles. Sitting on the tailgate is okay. Once on base, guests can leave but will not be allowed re-entry. (See below for full list of rules).

Tailgating/parking layout for 2021 Defenders of Liberty Airshow at Barksdale Air Force Base (Source: Barksdale Air Force Base)

Of the 7,000 available tailgate spaces, airshow organizers say there are about 4,400 spaces still available for Saturday and 5,200 for Sunday.

There will be no static displays or vendors for this year’s airshow, in keeping with the guidelines for limiting opportunities for COVID-19 to spread and to protect base personnel.

Tailgaters can bring food and beverages, but are asked not to bring cooking apparatus such as grills because of the risks associated with being near jets and jet fuel on the flight line.

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will headline this year’s airshow, with the F-22 Raptor demo team slated to make an appearance. Also on the schedule this year are four Heritage bomber aircraft from the World War II era, the B-17, the B-25, A-26, and the B-29, along with a tri-bomber flyover similar to the one conducted for this year’s Super Bowl with B-1, B-2, and B-52 bombers.

Tora! Tora! Tora! will perform a re-enactment of the surprise attack by the Japanese Imperial Navy on Pearl Harbor. There will also be several civilian aircraft and aerobatic performances and the popular Shockwave Jet Truck.

The gates open at 9:00 a.m. on both days. The show starts at 11:00 a.m and ends at approximately 4:00 p.m.

Click here for details on the acts currently scheduled to perform at the 2021 Defenders of Liberty Airshow. The airshow notes that performers are subject to change.

2021 Defenders of Liberty Airshow rules:

  • Spectators must remain in their spot unless leaving for the bathroom.
  • Do not sit or stand on top of the vehicle. Sitting on truck tailgates are okay.
  • No pets.**
  • No drones, balloons, golf carts, segways, skateboards, bicycles, hoverboards.
  • No Frisbees, baseballs, or other sporting equipment that can be thrown.
  • No glass.
  • No grills or devices to cook food.
  • No Beach umbrellas or tents.
  • No smoking, electronic cigarettes, or alcohol.
  • No weapons including but not limited to: guns, knives or blades of any length, stun guns or Tasers, mace, etc.
  • Vehicles and persons are subject to search.
  • Guest may leave, but there will be no re-entry.
  • Coolers allowed.
  • Chairs and tables allowed, but must fit in your designated area.
  • Unmask when in your tailgating space. Mask up when you cross boundaries or when you are headed to the bathroom.
  • You must take anything you brought with you away, including refuse.

    ** Service Animals are defined by the American with Disabilities Act are permitted.

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