Blue Angels, flight teams to perform at Sea & Sky Air Spectacular

Air show in Jacksonville Beach to be held from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Sunday

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – The world-famous United States Navy Blue Angels, along with other military and civilian fight teams, will be performing at the 2016 Jacksonville Sea and Sky Air Spectacular this weekend in Jacksonville Beach

The free air show -- held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday -- will features a dynamic over-the-ocean sky show, live entertainment, a street festival with static displays of aircraft and military vehicles, simulators, recruitment booths and a kids area.

Temperatures will be in 70s this weekend, which will be perfect for the huge crowd expected at the beach to watch the skies and waterways become the backdrop for exciting air acts and the Blue Angels.

Excitement was already in the air Friday as stunt teams practiced ahead of the show.

"All kinds of acrobatics -- and it never gets old. I've done several of these air shows when the boys arrived yesterday. It's still just as thrilling as the first time you've ever seen them and they're just excited," said Bill Austin, public affairs officer for Naval Station Mayport. "With each and every show, they're ready to put on a spectacular event."

Organizers suggested that people arrive early to get the best spot along the beach. But while the beach will be open for families, Austin said, the water will not.

"We want to primarily tell folks to stay out of the water during the air show in the vicinity we call the 'show box,'" Austin said. "We ask folks to stay out the water during the air show. "

Cmdr. Mark Evans with the Jacksonville Beach Police Department warned of several other places that need to be avoided during the show -- areas of the beach where there's still damage from Hurricane Matthew. 

"We do have some of the walkovers that are roped off because they've all been damaged in the storm and we've made alternate access points -- all clearly marked," Evans said. "But (if you) see the show fencing or the orange fencing, stay away from it because you may walk up to the oceanfront and it may be an 8 to 10-foot drop on the other side. So we've gone through and placed that fencing as best we can."

Evans said there will also be limited access in some parts of Neptune Beach. 

"The beach renourishment project moved some of their equipment out of our show center, so I do know that they've moved a little bit further north so they've not interfering with out air show," Evans said.

Since a large crowd is expected for the show, there will be a shuttle picking people up from the Florida State College at Jacksonville campus on Beach Boulevard. The cost is $5 and the shuttle will take people to the beach and back to their vehicles. 

For anyone who does drive to the beach, police warned that it won't be easy finding a parking spot.

"Obviously, the beach is limited as far as for parking. You have to be reminded that people live out here. There's residents and business owners, so make sure you don't park in an illegal parking space, don't block someone's driveway, don't park on private property unless you're allowed," Evans said. 

There are also VIP Cabana Viewing tickets available for the Sea and Sky Spectacular for anyone looking for an extra special experience. Perks include show center viewing, climate-controlled restrooms, complimentary beverages and tented areas with cooling fans.

The Sea and Sky Spectacular is produced by the city of Jacksonville in partnership with Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach and Naval Station Mayport.

"Every year, we're excited about the air show, so Naval Station Mayport, Naval Air Station Jacksonville, the city of Jacksonville have partnered to make this thing happen. And we're pumped up about it," Austin said. 

For more details and ticket information on the Sea and Sky Air Spectacular, visit the website.

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