Golden Knights prepare for Rhythm & Booms - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Golden Knights prepare for Rhythm & Booms


By Jamie Hersch - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MADISON (WKOW) -- Besides all the usual fanfare of Rhythm & Booms fireworks show, there's going to be a special treat this year. For the first time ever, the US Army Golden Knights will be part of Saturday's fireworks spectacular.

The parachute team had a practice jump on Friday and 27 News got a chance to go along for the ride.

"It's one of the best feelings you can imagine," said Sgt. Howie Sanborn, a Golden Knight.

Sanborn and his fellow Golden Knights are celebrating this Independence Day in a special way: jumping out of a plane.

"Being in the Army is the best job in the world and to get to go out and give back to the American public and the troops that are deployed is definitely a great opportunity for us," said Sgt. Arlyn Slade, a Golden Knight.

Zip up the suits, double-check the gear, and we're ready to fly.

When you're jumping out of a plane from 12,000 feet in the air, planning is key.

"We know when we go to do a jump that our equipment is going to work and our show is going to be pretty much perfect. The landing area is relatively small for us, between the lake and the crowd, so it'll get the adrenaline going, for sure," said Sanborn.

The Golden Knights do this almost every week, but they say there's something special about performing as part of a Fourth of July celebration.

"This gives us an opportunity to honor the principles our country was built on and to honor those who are overseas and to represent them," said Slade.

Plus, performing at Rhythm & Booms for the first time has a thrill of its own.

"We always give 100 percent but knowing that it's their first experience, it just makes me want to go that much harder," said Slade.

"I heard there were supposed to be 250,000 people so we're hoping to put on the best show of our lives for them," said Sanborn.

Event organizers say they will parachute to the ground with flares attached to them, making them look like meteors in the sky. They will perform two jumps on Saturday, at 5:30 and 9:05 p.m.

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