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Everything you need to know about the 2024 Air Force Academy graduation, tickets available Wednesday

Air Force Academy graduation
Posted at 6:50 AM, May 22, 2024

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — The United States Air Force Academy's graduation is happening on May 30. Here's everything you need to know ahead of the ceremony.

Tickets for the general public will be available starting Wednesday, May 22 at 9 a.m. The academy says that 3,000 free tickets will be available at two locations:

  • Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce on 2nd Street in Monument. Open Monday – Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • Visit COS at the corner of South Cascade Avenue and Cimarron Street – Open every day including the Memorial Day holiday between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • In the event graduation ceremonies relocate indoors for any reason, these publicly-held tickets will not be honored according to the Academy.

Vice President Kamala Harris will be this year's commencement speaker. With the vice president in town be aware that there could be rolling road closures for the vice president's motorcade. It is unclear when Vice President Harris will arrive or what her route will be.

Vice President Kamala Harris arrives in Colorado Springs

Vice President Harris to speak at 2024 USAFA graduation

A main attraction for many people during the graduation is watching the Air Force Academy Thunderbirds take flight and perform a flyover at the end of the graduation reception. Peterson Space Force Base confirmed that the Thunderbirds will arrive on Tuesday, May 28. A practice schedule has not been released at this time.

Crowds gather to watch USAFA Thunderbirds soar during graduation

Thursday, May 30 - USAFA Graduation Ceremony Schedule:

6:30 a.m. - Gates open, Falcon Stadium

8:00 a.m. - 8:45 a.m. - Sabre Drill, In The Stairwell, The Aerodynamics, and The U.S. Air Force Academy Band, Falcon Stadium

9:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m. - Graduation Ceremony & Thunderbirds, Falcon Stadium

Parking for graduation will be held at Falcon Stadium, it is recommended that you arrive early as gates to the Academy and stadium open at 6:30 a.m. See the map below for the various available parking lots. Once the ceremony begins you will not be permitted to enter.

ADA parking is located near Lot 5, which is pictured below. The Academy says all individuals who need it must enter from the North Gate and be prepared to turn right onto Academy Drive before the Stadium as they approach.

Graduation Parking Map

More information on graduation can be found online.

Vice President Harris arrives in Colorado Springs ahead of Air Force graduation

Information from the US Air Force Academy

Base Entry Guidelines

All vehicles entering the base are subject to inspection/search by security personnel and you may be asked to show proof of insurance, a valid vehicle registration, and a rental car agreement. Guests should refrain from bringing large bags, coolers, backpacks, or other items that will require additional scrutiny or searches from security personnel. The North and South Gate will be open for guests on graduation day for travel to the stadium.

FSG AFA Grad Supplies.jpg

Allowed/Prohibited Items at Parade Field and Falcon Stadium

All persons and their personal belongings are subject to an inspection, which may result in a search. The Academy is not responsible for items left at the gates or in the trash receptacles. Storage of prohibited items is not available and security personnel will ask visitors to store the item in their vehicle. On the day of graduation, entry into the stadium is not permitted once the ceremony begins, and guests may not depart the stadium until the Air Force Thunderbirds complete their aerial demonstration. Tailgate parties are not allowed on base.

Items allowed at Stillman Parade Field and Falcon Stadium

  • Food is allowed but must be displayed in a transparent 1-gallon Ziploc bag. Each ticketholder may have only one 1-gallon Ziploc.
  • Sunscreen is permitted but restricted to a 6-ounce or less tube. Bottles and aerosol spray are not allowed into the stadium.
  • Factory-sealed transparent soft plastic water bottles are restricted to 24 ounces in size. Water is the only beverage permitted to be carried into the parade field or stadium. Exceptions may be made for visitors with medical conditions and for infants.
  • Infant diaper bags and carrier packs are permitted when an infant is present.
  • More information on approved handbags

Prohibited Items

  • Oxygen bottles are prohibited. However, Oxygen bottles prescribed by a physician are authorized.
  • Illegal substances, including Marijuana, which is illegal on federal property.
  • Firearms, knives, box cutters, scissors, or any weapon.
  • Alcohol, glass containers, bottles, cans, aerosol sprays, hard-sided (or Nalgene) plastic bottles.
  • Handbags larger than 12 by 12 by 12 inches.
  • Backpacks, including bota bags, wineskins, and camelbacks.
  • Laser pointers, fireworks, or any item deemed unsafe by security personnel.
  • Unapproved banners or signs larger than 18 by 24 inches.
  • Pets. Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant service animals are allowed.
  • Any artificial noisemaker.
  • Baby seats or large strollers. Collapsible strollers are allowed.
  • Seatbacks wider than 19 inches. No armrests.

While graduation is Thursday, festivities have already begun at the Academy. On Monday, May 20, the Air Force Academy Preparatory School held its graduation ceremony.


If you’re looking for a watch party, you’re in luck… Our Jake Walker has been talking with business owners in the springs. He found several watch parties you can attend. The north side is going to be the best side of town to see those Thunderbirds.

Scheels will be hosting a free watch party in their parking lot from 11 am until 1 pm. You may want to bring your umbrella. Overdrive Raceway is also hosting a free party at noon with free hot dogs and burgers while supplies last. Also, the Western Museum of Mining and Industry has a great view and it is $5 to park there. You can show up as early as 9 am for that.

We know things get canceled because of the weather all the time in Colorado, and that may be the case this year with the rain we’re expecting. There’s no time given for the flyover. Stay tuned right here for the latest.

WATCH: Air Force Academy Prep School's graduation

For more information about this year's graduation, visit the United States Air Force Academy's website.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information is released closer to graduation day.

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