VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Naval Air Station Oceana says it’s ready to once again welcome the public when it hosts its annual air show this September.
This year’s air show is on Sept. 18 and 19 and features the return of the Navy’s Blue Angels. The “Blues Are Back” theme highlights the Blue Angels’ 75th anniversary and first year flying the F/A-18 Super Hornet. It’s the Blue Angels’ first trip to Oceana since 2018.
Last year’s show was canceled for in-person attendance due to the pandemic but there was a live broadcast that was viewed by more than 300,000 people.
This year’s event doesn’t have capacity limits, officials say, but attendance could be limited if coronavirus case levels exceed two new cases per 100,000 population in the last seven days.
While last year’s show was done online, ask anyone who’s seen it in person and they’ll tell you, it’s just not the same.
“There’s nothing like seeing Naval aircraft operate in person and if you are a young boy or a girl and you get to see the aircraft in person, feel the trust and the impact that these jets have, well, nothing really can replace that,” said Capt. John Hewitt Nas Oceana.
It’s already made an impression on 16-year-old Cole Tennant.
“Planes interest me, aviation, fighter jets it’s all really cool,” he said.
He was visiting from New York on Monday, vacationing with his family in Virginia Beach. He chose jets over dolphins, along with quite a crowd in the observation lot off Oceana Boulevard.
“I think it’s awesome I mean any air show is awesome, especially Oceana. I’ve seen a lot of videos and footage from Oceana, they put on a really good show and bring a lot of people out,” he said.
With this being the 75th anniversary, officials are excited to see the new F/A-18 Super Hornet fly.
“You meet people from all over the world that they come to this airshow specifically for what it represents. And having that in-person experience, nothing can replace that,” said Hewitt.
The event is free and more information on gate and schedule times will be available here coming up soon.