Local Events

The Blue Angels are coming to Beaufort County. Here’s how to watch

The iconic Blue Angels will be in Beaufort this month to perform for the public.

The famous Navy flight team will headline the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort Air Show on April 27-28.

General admission is free. Tickets for bleacher and box seats can be purchased through www.beaufortairshow.com.

The Blue Angels are scheduled to perform at 4 p.m. following a line up of stunt pilots and military plane demonstrations. The U.S. Navy demonstration team of F/A 18 Hornets delivers a 10-minute performance including maneuvers in a four-jet “diamond” formation and six-jet “delta” formation.

Also planned are demonstrations of the F-35, F-22 stealth fighter and AV-8.

A kids zone will include bounce houses, mazes, slides and tunnels. A variety of military aircraft, vehicles and equipment will be on display.

Air shows are “consistently and historically safe” for spectators, the show’s website says. Maneuvers can be dangerous for the performers.

Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Davis was killed when his F/A 18 Hornet crashed after he attempted a sharp, low-altitude turn as part of a Blue Angels performance during the 2007 air show. Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss died in June 2016 after his F/A 18 crashed while he was preparing for a Blue Angels performance in Tennessee. Kuss had been station in Beaufort before joining the Blue Angels.

When to be there

Gates open at 9 a.m. each day, with opening ceremonies at 11:15 a.m. The Blue Angels are scheduled to perform at 4 p.m.

VIP guests, VIP pass holders and authorized military vehicles needing handicap parking will enter through the main gate. All other visitors will use Gate 3 or 5 on Trask Parkway and be directed by law enforcement and traffic signs.

Cost and parking

Air show general admission and parking are free. Spectators will watch from paved and grassy areas and can stand or sit on blankets or lawn chairs. Tickets are for sale at www.beaufortairshow.com for seats with better views and amenities. Once cars enter the gates, they will be directed to general parking areas. Parking is first come, first served.

What to bring and what to leave

Air show officials recommend hearing protection, especially for children. Tailgating and smoking near aircraft are prohibited.

Leave these things at home: Weapons; outside foods and drinks (no alcohol); pets other than service animals; glass containers; tents; drones; tripods; coolers; bicycles, skates or scooters; and wagons, carts or buggies.

These are OK to bring: Small strollers and wheelchairs; lawn chairs and blankets; cellphones or radios; backpacks, purses, fanny packs or baby bags; umbrellas or sun shades; and cameras, camcorders and camera bags.

Stephen Fastenau covers northern Beaufort County as a reporter for The Beaufort Gazette and The Island Packet, where he has worked since 2010 and been recognized with state and national awards. He studied journalism and political science at the University of South Carolina in Columbia and lives in Beaufort.
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