By Press Release Submitted to Published Feb 25, 2015 at 5:02 PM

At a news conference held earlier today at The Pfister Hotel, event organizers of the Milwaukee Air & Water Show, presented by Marcus Hotels & Resorts, announced the highly anticipated return of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds to headline this year’s show July 25 and 26 along Milwaukee’s lakefront.

In addition to the Thunderbirds, other military performers slated to perform at the 2015 show include the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Demonstration Team and the U.S. Navy Parachute Team, "The Leap Frogs."

Spectators will be able to witness the pride, precision and professionalism of the Thunderbirds in a demonstration along Milwaukee’s premier lakefront. Since the team’s inception in 1953, the Thunderbirds have been representing America’s Air Force. This year’s visit, one of 40 scheduled performances on the Thunderbird’s 2015 show schedule, marks the team’s first appearance in Milwaukee since 2011.

In addition to a strong roster of military performances, this year’s world-class lineup of civilian performers is led by the Breitling Jet Team. Based in Dijon, France, the prestigious aerobatic display team is the first and largest of its kind; comprised of seven L-39 C Albatros jets that can reach speeds up to 565 MPH and have flown in 36 countries across the globe. The team’s visit to Milwaukee is stop number nine on its 20 city inaugural U.S. tour.

Joined by representatives from the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight, organizers also announced the local chapter of the national organization, Honor Flight, as the official event charity of the Milwaukee Air & Water Show. Stars and Stripes Honor Flight honors all veterans by flying WWII, Korean War and terminally ill veterans from other conflicts to Washington, D.C. to visit their memorials.

As the official event charity, Stars and Stripes Honor Flight veterans will receive special tributes each day of the show, in addition to enjoying prime show viewing and accommodations. To help Stars and Stripes Honor Flight continue its mission, the air show will also donate a portion of reserved ticket sales to the organization.

"It is with great honor and excitement that we welcome back the Thunderbirds to Milwaukee and announce our new partnership with the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight," said Philip Vollrath, co-founder and chairman of Vollrath Associates and chairman of the Air Show Board of Directors. With the help of our generous sponsors, supporters and the Milwaukee community, we look forward to making this year’s Milwaukee Air & Water Show the best of record; providing entertainment for the entire family and creating a patriotic tribute of respect to our armed services and veterans communities."

"We are extremely grateful for this opportunity and excited to explore the many synergies between both organizations," said Paula Nelson, president of Stars and Stripes Honor Flight. "We believe this is the perfect platform to connect past and present members of our armed services, and connect all generations of Americans to our military heroes."

Other exciting civilian acts in the 2015 show include the return of the Aerostars Formation Aerobatic Team, Firebirds X-Treme Aerobatic Team, Team AeroDynamix, U.S. Coast Guard HH-65A Rescue Helicopter and more. Additional air and water acts will be announced in the coming months.

"Proven to be an economic engine for Milwaukee tourism, the Air & Water Show generates millions of dollars in visitor spending each year, while showcasing our beautiful lakefront and the very best this city has to offer," said Paul Upchurch, president and CEO, VISIT Milwaukee.

"Marcus Hotels & Resorts is proud to continue our support of the Milwaukee Air & Water Show for the seventh consecutive year," Added Peggy Williams-Smith, corporate vice president of food and beverage for Marcus Hotels & Resorts. "Each summer, the air show attracts families, visitors and residents for a full weekend of lakefront fun, showcasing our award-winning parks and the best air show acts in the country. We look forward to partnering with other Milwaukee businesses to amplify the event’s positive impact and support of the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight."

Entering its seventh consecutive year as one of the top air shows in the Midwest, the 2015 Milwaukee Air & Water Show is expected to attract over 300,000 residents and visitors over the event weekend.