Once a year Wisconsin puts on a show that brings people from all over that state to one place to celebrate our Nation’s Independence. Rhythm & Booms is Madison, Wisconsin’s official Independence Day celebration and the largest single-day event in Wisconsin. The show offers many events to include a 5K run/walk and music stages to entertain everyone before the world-class fireworks performance. The Gold Team had the honor to open the festivities with a mid-day mass formation jump giving the public a preview of what was to come later on that night. Then after the sun went down the Gold Team took to the skies once again to put on an awe inspiring show of the people. Jumpers lit up the sky with their pyro forming a single mass formation that could be seen from miles around. Immediately following the jumpers the largest fireworks display in the state went off drawing the attention of the crowd and the jumpers for over 45 minutes. Over 200,000 people were said to be in attendance for the event which is a record for the Rhythm & Booms.
Shortly after the Gold Team departed Wisconsin they traveled a short distance to Dubuque, Iowa for their 27th annual Independence Day Celebration. Dubuque, Iowa is located in the Tri-State area of Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin so the festival draws a huge crowd from all three states. The Gold Team performed four times in three different locations over the two days they were there. Dubuque is a well known demonstration location for the Golden Knights because of the obscure and tight landing areas. Each of the events the team is given the bare minimum crowd clearance with a landing area surrounded by obstacles leaving the team only one option which is to land on target. The first demonstration was at the Kennedy Mall parking lot on Monday which was basically a preview of the team held in the early afternoon to advertise the festival being held the next day. The landing area was a 100 foot circle surrounded by new cars form the local dealership and plenty of spectators looking forward to watching the jumpers land in front of them. As always the Gold Team delivered a perfect performance and built the confidence of the jumpers for the next jumps to come.
The final two jumps were going to be held at Mcdonald Park which is on the coast of the Mississippi bordering Iowa and Wisconsin. The Air Show was said to of drawn over 225,000 who all were surrounding the target area hoping to catch a glimpse of the jumpers as they landed. The Team performed twice during the celebration one in the afternoon and another during the night to close out the show just before the fireworks. Both performances were a great success especially the night jump because immediately after the jump the team was instantly surrounded by the massive crowd with everyone saying the performance was the greatest thing they had ever seen. The view was impressive from the jumpers
point of view with the ground being lit up by flashes from peoples cameras.