2017-07-01 / Features

‘Angels’ in the sky make for a perfect ‘Blue’ week

The Pensacola Beach Air Show will run Tuesday, July 4, through Saturday, July 8, with the famous Blue Angels claiming center stage on the final day of the event. Gulfside Pavilion at Casino Beach on Casino Beach Blvd., will be the best place to catch the eagerly anticipated annual show, originating from Santa Rosa Island.

Fans can also watch multiple practice sessions by the Blue Angels, or “Blues,” during the week.

On July 4, catch fireworks on the Soundside at 8:30 p.m. Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs will provide musical entertainment as twilight begins to fall around 7 p.m.

Start off right with Breakfast with the Blues as they appear overhead at 8 a.m. on July 5.

On July 6, there will be a practice flight demonstration with the Blue Angels at 2 p.m.

July 7 will feature a dress rehearsal with civilian acts at noon and the Blue Angels’ rehearsal fun will kick off at 2 p.m.

It’s the Big Day -- July 8! The Pensacola Beach Air Show, featuring the Blue Angels, will get going at noon. The Blue Angels will fly at 2 p.m.

This year’s civilian line-up includes Veterans Flight crew flying their World War II-era Stearmans; Julian MacQueen in his Grunman Widgeon G-44 amphibious plane; the U.S. Navy Seal LEAP Frogs; the Redline Sports Team flying RV-8 speed demons; Gary Ward in the MX2, an unlimited aerobatic aircraft that spins and rotates at high speeds; Kevin Coleman, flying a one-of-a-kind Extra 300SHP; and Skip Stewart pulling out all the stops on Prometheus, a biplane that roars and races.

Of course, Fat Albert, a C-130 Hercules that flies support for the Blue Angels, will be on hand to kick off the Blues’ performance at 2 p.m.

For more information about the Blue Angels’ practice sessions at the Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, call (850) 452-3604 or visit www.navalaviationmuseum.org.

Throughout the rest of the year, such events begin at 11:30 a.m. (Central time) on most Tuesdays and Wednesdays from March to November at the National Naval Aviation Museum, located at 1750 Radford Blvd. in Pensacola. Cancellations because of adverse weather or maintenance issues are made at the team’s discretion and may not be made until the morning of the practice.

Visitors are always welcome at these free events, which last for about 55 minutes. Outside viewing is on the museum flight line, north of the museum, with open bleacher seating for 1,000 people. Chair service is provided at each practice session, with a limited quantity of chairs available for $3 each for that day’s practice session.

Visitors can also count on concessions such as bottled water, sport drinks, light food and treats, along with merchandise related to the event. These are provided by the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation, with proceeds supporting the museum and foundation programs.

There are ID checks for all visitors 16 years old and older who wish to access the museum flight line. Backpacks, day packs, luggage and similar items are prohibited on the flight line during practice air shows. Small purses, bags with medications and diaper bags are allowed, but they are subject to search.

Signs are posted to direct viewers to the museum flight line, including limited parking for handicapped visitors.

Those attending practice sessions are reminded that they may encounter extreme heat and noise.

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