Get ready to pack those coolers and load up your car — or boat. The U.S. Navy Blue Angels return for the Pensacola Beach Air Show July 6-9.
The Blue Angels will headline all events, which culminate July 8 with a full dress rehearsal and July 9 with the official air show. In addition to the Blue Angels, there will be a host of world-class military, aerobatic and stunt plane performers, as well as interactive exhibits and all types of vendors.
Here's a look at the schedule:
"Breakfast with the Blues" kicks off the air show week at about 7:30 a.m. July 6 when the Blue Angels arrive and circle overhead to mark the show's coordinates and center points along Pensacola Beach.
The Blue Angels will then hold a practice show over Pensacola Beach at 2 p.m. July 7.
The Pensacola Beach Air Show dress rehearsal with flight demonstrations and civilian aerobatic performances begins at approximately 11 a.m. July 8, with the Blue Angels flying at 2 p.m.
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The official Pensacola Beach Air Show on July 9 exactly follows Friday’s dress rehearsal schedule:
To help alleviate traffic congestion for the Pensacola Beach Air Show, the Santa Rosa Island Authority is extending public transportation hours along the island July 8 and is adding extra buses to the schedule July 9.
The three, free, open-air trolleys will begin transporting customers starting at 7:30 a.m. July 8 and extend service to Park East, located a mile east of Portofino Resort, until 6 p.m. Following that, the regular route will resume until midnight.
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Starting at 6:30 a.m. July 9, the SRIA will have seven buses in addition to the three trolleys running and will extend its service area to Park East until 6 p.m. Following that, the trolleys will resume normal operations until midnight.
Trolleys will service passengers from Park East and Park West to Casino Beach throughout the day. Post-show, trolleys servicing Portofino Resort/Park East will be staged on Via de Luna directly across from Santa Rosa Island Authority (facing east). Trolleys servicing Park West will be staged on Fort Pickens Road adjacent to The Sandshaker (facing west).
Due to traffic and congestion buildup, trolley service to the access road stops (Grand Marlin, Radical Rides/Laguna's, Quietwater Beach and the Boardwalk) will be temporarily suspended until 6 p.m.
Passengers will only be picked up and dropped off at designated trolley stops.
Passengers who wish to get back to their vehicles as soon as the air show ends need to be on the first fleet of trolleys leaving Casino Beach post-show. Due to the gridlock that occurs immediately following the air show, riders should expect to wait as long as 90 minutes for the trolleys to return to Casino Beach if they are not on the first trip out.
The SRIA is requiring the public to suspend all flights of unmanned aircraft, or drones, during the air waiver hours of the Pensacola Beach Air Show. In addition, glass is always prohibited on the beach, and leashed dogs are only allowed at the two designated dog beaches on either side of the island.
Following the air show, when it's time to pack up and leave, the SRIA reminds beachgoers to leave only their footprints behind, taking everything they brought to the beach back out to keep the area clean.