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Air Force Thunderbirds to headline 2017 air show at Jones Beach

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds perform during the

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds perform during the 12th annual Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach in Wantagh on May 23, 2015. Photo Credit: Ed Betz

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds are booked to headline the Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach State Park in Wantagh this coming Memorial Day weekend.

The announcement for the 14th annual show was made Wednesday by Bethpage Federal Credit Union and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

It will be the Thunderbirds’ fifth appearance at the air show, scheduled next year for May 27-28, 2017.

Among the featured fliers will be Major Kevin Walsh, a native of Levittown and now Thunderbird No. 7, according to a news release. Walsh, the Thunderbirds’ director of operations, grew up in Levittown and attended St. Anthony’s High School in South Huntington.

The Thunderbirds last headlined the show in 2015, bringing out more than 439,000 spectators, said Linda Armyn, the credit union’s senior vice president of corporate affairs. “We are confident that their return to Long Island in 2017 will draw an equally large crowd as well,” she said.

Also returning to the 2017 lineup is the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team, the release said.

And for those who are already looking to the following year’s show, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels have committed to headline in 2018, the release said. The Blue Angels also headlined in 2016.

Formed in 1953, the Thunderbirds demonstrate the skills of airmen and “capabilities of modern air power,” the release said. Their show next year will include about 40 maneuvers, demonstrating formation flying and solo routines.

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