Mar 22, 2024 - Things to Do

What to know for the Blue Angels return to New Orleans

The cockpit of a Blue Angels jet is open as a man stands on the wing and another man leans out from the cockpit.

The Boeing F/A-18 Hornet flown by U.S. Navy Blue Angel team of Lt. Connor O'Donnell (on wing), and fellow Lt. Brian Vaught, sits on the runway at Republic Airport in Farmingdale, New York. Photo: Conrad Williams Jr./Newsday RM via Getty Images

The U.S. Navy's Blue Angels are back in town this weekend for a return of the New Orleans Air Show.

Why it matters: When the flight crew was here two years ago, they attracted a crowd of 160,000 people to the Naval Air Station in Belle Chasse.

The event is a mix between educational festival and thrilling air stunts.

  • It's also the one time in the year the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans is open to the public.
  • "It's a great opportunity to showcase our military and to garner support from the community," commanding officer Captain Lena Kaman tells Axios New Orleans. "But ultimately the appeal is the raw power and precision of the [aircraft]."

Yes, but: All that machinery is pretty noisy. As residents in the New Orleans metro know, it's not uncommon to see and hear jets flying overhead.

  • We've heard more of that since one of the New Orleans base's squadrons started hosting trainings a couple years ago instead of flying to locations around the country for them, Kaman says.
  • Having the air show in town means residents can expect more of what Kaman calls "the sound of freedom" through the weekend.

Zoom in: The Air Show will have nearly 20 performers in the air, with a mix of military and civilian aircraft, plus 10 to 15 aircraft on display for closer inspection.

  • There will also be STEM booths, a kid zone and a mobile exhibit with the story of the Tuskegee Airmen.

If you go: The schedule isn't released in advance, but it's a good idea to arrive at the base early because security checks slow down the process of getting in the gates.

  • Coolers, backpacks, bags and other items are prohibited, but food and drink will be available for purchase.
  • Folding chairs are welcome, and ear protection is encouraged.
  • Gates open at 8am Saturday and Sunday, and the show begins at 10am.

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