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The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, perform during the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort Air Show, on April 28, 2019.

The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, perform during the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort Air Show, on April 28, 2019. (Bobby Yarbrough/U.S. Marine Corps)

(Tribune News Service) — The wildly popular Blue Angels air show, which features aerial demonstrations by pilots flying blue and gold F/A-18 Super Hornets, will return to Beaufort in April after a three-year absence, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort has announced.

“We’re just excited they are coming back,” MCAS spokesman Capt. Thomas Jones told the Beaufort Gazette and Island Packet on Friday, “and we’re excited we’re going to be able to do the air show again in 2023.”

The 2023 show will be April 22-23.

Because of elevated public health protections that limited large crowds due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the last Blue Angels air show in Beaufort was in 2019.

There is no cost to the general public to attend the show, but paid seating areas are offered. The lowest prices, MCAS said, are available through Nov. 30 at beaufortairshow.com.

On Nov. 30, two aircraft with the U.S. Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron, also known as the Blue Angels, will visit the area to plan and coordinate with Air Station staff about the upcoming show, Jones said.

“It’s really a familiarization of the area for the pilots before they come out for the actual air show,” Jones said.

The air show, conducted once every two years, has drawn crowds as large as 100,000. MCAS is planning for up to 150,000 guests this year.

The last time residents got a glimpse of the Blue Angels was in April 2021, when they came to Beaufort for practice flights not formally open for public viewing.

The Blue Angel pilots are the stars of the air show but it also includes other aerial performances and aircraft displays on the ground.

Formed in 1946, the Blue Angels’ mission is to showcase the pride and professionalism of the Navy and Marine Corps through aerobatic flight demonstrations and community outreach.

Nicknamed “Fightertown East,” MCAS Beaufort is the home of the Marine Corps’ Atlantic Coast fixed-wing, fighter-attack aircraft assets. Marine Aircraft Group 31 is part of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing headquartered at MCAS Cherry Point, N.C. and is comprised of four F/A-18 Hornet Squadrons, two F-35B Lightning II training squadrons, an aviation logistics squadron and a wing support detachment.

(c)2022 The Island Packet (Hilton Head, S.C.)

Visit The Island Packet at www.islandpacket.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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