Madison’s Saturday Night Lights


Madison, Wisconsin hosts an annual Rhythm & Booms event to celebrate our Independence Day! The Saturday closest to the 4th of July brings Wisconsin’s Capital together at Warner Park for Music, Food, Fireworks and Entertainment. That’s where Black Team Steps in!

Every year’s event brings the Golden Knights to the skies over Wisconsin. With a crystal clear view of the Capital building and “The Square,” Black Team performs 2 jumps from 12,500 feet, for the 250,000 citizens, gazing into the sky.

As a precursor to the highly publicized pyrotechnic jump that kicks off the Rhythm & Booms Fireworks performance, Black Team performed a mass formation earlier that afternoon, Saturday, July 2nd.

Trailing smoke, while in free fall at 120 miles per hour, Black Team encouraged thousands to make their way to Warner Park for the evening’s festivities! Building a 6-man geometric formation, the Golden Knights made their grand entrance to the grassy lake-front. Conducting our ground performance with a full line-up, Black Team was formally introduced to Wisconsin’s capital. The Team took the opportunity to present flags and batons, which were flown in free fall to selected VIP’s. Additionally, opening up the crowd line allowed spectators to help the Team pack their parachutes and receive autographs from Team members.

Taking off in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, specifically provided for our demonstrators, Black Team had an exit, nearly as entertaining as their entrance. The swift, aerial transportation allowed our Team to perform a second time, by eliminating the difficulties, brought by traffic from this large event.

Dusk arrived and all the evening’s events began to unfold. A memorable National Anthem combined with a 4-ship, F-16 fly-by, left every true American feeling proud, with their heads held high. Immediately following, SSG Brandie Phillips ignited her pyrotechnics and stepped out into the darkness, from 2 1/2 miles up. Landing perfectly, she grabs the microphone with authority and narrates the rest of the Team’s show. Filling common descriptions such as, “Exploding aircraft,” “Fireballs,” or even, “UFO’s,” Black Team descended towards earth with pyrotechnic trails, several hundred feet long. All jumpers landed safely and concluded the final event, prior to the famed Rhythm & Booms, choreographed fireworks display.

As always, the event turned out as an amazing success. Citizens of Madison, Wisconsin proved to be proud Americans, celebrating our Independence with honor. Continuously thanked for their service, Black Team was proud to represent what the 4th of July is all about. While Americans celebrate this great holiday with fireworks and entertainment, we pay tribute the great accomplishments of our nation and its freedom. American freedom comes from American Soldiers, who live without the luxury of fireworks and festivals. Sacrificing time with family and friends, our soldiers stand guard, day and night, to ensure we all have the privilege of holding our hand over our heart, or snapping a solid salute, when we hear our Anthem ring out.

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