The Blue Angels take to the skies above Annapolis during Commission Week. What to know

It's officially time: The Blue Angels are set to perform at the Naval Academy's Commissioning Week with a rehearsal practice scheduled Tuesday and the full show happening on Wednesday.

The U.S. Navy flight demonstration team will also perform a flyover above the graduation and commissioning ceremony at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium at 10 a.m. Friday morning.

Heading out to watch the Blue Angels perform in Annapolis, or just wondering what the deal is with all of the traffic? Here's what to know about the schedule, traffic and more.

When do the Blue Angels fly in Annapolis?

The Blue Angels will perform over Annapolis at 2 p.m. on May 21-22.

Maritime traffic in the Severn River will be closed to all unauthorized traffic around 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday and 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

Can the public watch the Blue Angels Annapolis air show?

Yes, the Blue Angels’ performance at the Naval Academy in Annapolis is open to the public, though not quite to the same degree as others that provide a dedicated space for public viewing. However, there are plenty of vantage spots that you can consider.

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In past shows, people have lined up along the bridge between Eastport and Annapolis and City Dock. Onboard the Naval Academy, the Hospital Point is another favorite.

And, of course, anyone with a boat is able to anchor in Severn River or Spa Creek, though they should be mindful of maritime restrictions put in place during the duration of the show.

Is the Severn River open to public boats?

Spectators can watch the Blue Angels fly above Annapolis by boat, but they will need to be aware of zones that will be temporarily restricted during the show.

These channels will be marked with red and green buoys. The channel must be kept clear of anchored boats throughout the show. Anchoring outside of these zones is fine.

The best places to anchor are off Greenbury Point, by Carr Creek, or on the other side of the flight box, closer to the Rt. 50 Bridge, according to the Annapolis website.

Where can you park to watch the Blue Angels Annapolis air show?

The Blue Angels Annapolis air show isn't a typical show, so finding a place to park and a vantage point can be difficult. The city of Annapolis posted traffic information that can help you find the best option.

Parking: Parking at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and taking the free shuttle to enter through the Visitor Center at Gate One is the easiest option. If you're headed downtown, the city garages are another safe bet. These options include Hillman (150 Gorman St.), Gott’s (45 Calvert St.), Knighton (1A Colonial Ave.), and Park Place (One Park Place).

Heavy traffic: There will undoubtedly be heavy traffic, so prepare in advance by giving yourself extra time for travel. Download the “Prepare Me Annapolis” mobile app (Apple/Android) to receive local traffic alerts. The city says that traffic around the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Rowe Boulevard could be especially slow until about 3 p.m. on Friday.

Downtown parking: Expect parking to be limited throughout the week. Visit to reserve garage parking at Gott’s and Knighton garages. The city says there will be strict enforcement of metered parking, two-hour limited spaces, Residential Permit Zones and red zones. Visitors are strongly encouraged to park at Knighton (Corner of Colonial Avenue and West Street) and Park Place (Just off of West Street and Spa Road) garages and take the free downtown “magenta” shuttle. The shuttle can be tracked using the transloc app or on the web:

Road and bridge closures during Blue Angels Annapolis air show

The Route 450 (Naval Academy) bridge will be closed between 10:45 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. for the Blue Angels rehearsal on Tuesday. It will close again on Wednesday between 1:45 and 4 p.m. for the main show.

What to know about boating to the Blue Angels Annapolis air show

Boaters must pay close attention to markers that delineate exclusionary zones and temporary channels (marked by red and green buoys) on both Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Annapolis Harbormaster operates on VHF 17. The area of Spa Creek and the Severn River will be patrolled by the U.S. Coast Guard, Department of Natural Resources Police, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Annapolis Harbormaster, Annapolis Police and Annapolis Fire Rescue boats.

For complete information on maritime traffic rules and procedures, visit: the Annapolis Harbormaster’s web page on maritime rules for Blue Angels.

Blue Angels Annapolis 2024 schedule

Here is a look at the Annapolis schedule

May 21

  • 10:30 a.m.: The restricted zone in the Severn River is closed to all unauthorized traffic.

  • 2 p.m.: Practice air show begins.

  • 4 p.m.: The Severn River will reopen to all vessel traffic once the all-clear signal is given.

May 22

  • 1:30 p.m.: The restricted zone in the Severn River is closed to all unauthorized traffic.

  • 2 p.m.: Air show begins.

  • 4 p.m.: The Severn River will reopen to all vessel traffic once the all-clear signal is given.

Blue Angels schedule 2024

  • March 9: Naval Air Facility El Centro, California

  • March 16-17: Travis Air Force Base, California

  • March 23-24: Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans, Louisiana

  • April 6-7 Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama

  • April 13-14 Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Forth Worth, Texas

  • April 20-21 Cocoa Beach, Florida

  • April 27-28 Vidalia, Georgia

  • May 4-5: Vero Beach, Florida

  • May 11-12: Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina

  • May 22/24: U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland

  • May 25-26: Jones Beach, New York

  • June 1-2: Terre Haute, Indiana

  • June 8-9: Chesterfield, Missouri

  • June 15-16: La Crosse, Wisconsin

  • June22-23: Dayton, Ohio

  • June 29-30: Traverse City, Michigan

  • July 6-7 Johnson City, New York

  • July 13 Pensacola Beach, Florida

  • July 27-28 Fargo, North Dakota

  • Aug. 3-4: Seattle, Washington

  • Aug. 10-11: Colorado Springs, Colorado

  • Aug. 17-18: Chicago, Illinois

  • Aug. 24-25: Wichita, Kansas City

  • Aug. 31: Cleveland, Ohio

  • Sept. 1-2: Cleveland, Ohio

  • Sept. 14-15: Owensboro, Kentucky

  • Sept. 21-22: Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia

  • Sept. 28-29: Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California

  • Oct. 12-13 San Francisco, California

  • Oct. 19-20 Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida

  • Oct. 26-27 Houston, Texas

  • Nov. 2-3 Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida

What to expect at a Blue Angels air show?

If you’re never been to a Blue Angels air show, you’re in for a treat. Plan for an all-day event, from waiting in line as you await the opening gates at 8:30 a.m. to when the show wraps up about eight hours later.

Once the gates open, depending on which show you’re attending, you’ll likely be able to meander through vendors, claim spots to watch the show, enjoy performances from civilian and other military teams and learn about some aeronautical history.

Each show has a fairly strict schedule it follows, which can be found online. Taking a peek, you’ll see that there’s something to keep your attention every 30 minutes to an hour, starting with a parachute demonstrations and ending with a demonstration from Fat Albert just before the Blue Angels take to the skies.

How long do the Blue Angels fly?

A Blue Angels air show is typically an all-day event spanning about eight hours. Civilian acts and other military performers take to the skies throughout the day leading up to the final event: the Blue Angels. Fat Albert will lead the Blues with a short 10-15-minute demonstration, and the Blues will perform for about an hour afterward.

What planes do the Blue Angels fly?

In 2021, the Blue Angels started flying in a new airplane for the first time in more than 30 years — the Super Hornet F/A-18 E/F. The new jets are 25% larger, fly 40% further, remain on station 80% longer and can carry more weapons than their predecessors. The team previously flew F/A-18 Hornets, which they transitioned to from the A-4F Skyhawk II in 1986.

How fast do the Blue Angels fly?

The new Super Hornets can reach top speeds just under Mach 2 (about 1,400 miles per hour), almost twice the speed of sound. The jets can climb at a maximum rate of 30,000 feet per minute.

Blue Angels pilot salary

Blue Angels pilot salaries are no different from what their pay would typically be, based on rank and time in service.

Where are the Blue Angels based?

The Blue Angels are based onboard Naval Air Station Pensacola in Pensacola, Florida.

Blue Angel pilots in 2024

Here’s a look at the Blue Angel pilots for the 2024 air show season.

  • #1 Cmdr. Alexander Armatas — Cmdr. Alexander P. Armatas is a native of Skaneateles, New York. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in aerospace engineering.

  • #2 Lt. Cmdr. Jack Keilty — Lt. Cmdr. Jack Keilty, is a native of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where he attended Mount Saint Mary Catholic High School, graduating in 2005. He attended the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia, where he lettered in football and earned a Bachelor's Degree in history in 2010. Upon graduation he was commissioned an ensign in the United States Navy and reported to Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, for Aviation Preflight Indoctrination (API)."

  • #3 Lt. Wesley Perkins — Lt. James Wesley Perkins is a native from Pordenone, Italy, grew up in Georgetown, Texas, and graduated from Hutto High School in 2009. He attended Texas A&M University graduating with a degree in ocean engineering in 2014. Perkins commissioned as an ensign through the Reserve Officers' Training Corps.

  • #4 Lt. Cmdr. Amanda Lee — Lt. Cmdr. Amanda Lee is a native of Mounds View, Minnesota. She graduated from Irondale High School in 2004, where she competed in soccer, ice hockey and swimming. While attending the University of Minnesota Duluth, Amanda enlisted in the U.S. Navy as an aviation electronics technician (AT) and reported to her first command, VFA-136 "Knighthawks." She was selected to commission as a pilot through the Seaman-to-Admiral (STA-21) commissioning program in 2009. The following year, Lee attended the Naval Science Institute (NSI) for officer training in Newport, Rhode Island, and simultaneously began her studies at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, where she received a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry.

  • #5 Lt. Cmdr. Griffin Stangel — Lt. Cmdr. Griffin Stangel is a native of Madison, Wisconsin, and graduated from Madison West High School in 2008. He attended the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in air traffic control in 2012. Immediately after graduation, he reported to Newport, Rhode Island, where he received his commission as an ensign in the United States Navy after completion of Officer Candidate School.

  • #6 Cdr. Thomas Zimmerman — Cmdr. Thomas Zimmerman is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. He graduated from St. Paul's School in 2004 lettering in football, wrestling and lacrosse. After graduation, he attended the United States Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, Rhode Island, for one year prior to attending the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He lettered in lacrosse at both schools and graduated from the Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in ocean engineering, earning his commission as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy in 2009.

  • #7 Lt. Connor O'Donnell (Narrator) — Lt. Connor O’Donnell is a native of Freeport, Maine, and graduated from Yarmouth High School in 2011. Following high school, he attended the United States Naval Academy and graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor’s Degree in operations research."

  • #8 Lt. Cmdr. Brian Vaught — Lt. Cmdr. Brian Vaught is a native of Englewood, Colorado. He graduated from Cherry Creek High School in 2004, where he lettered in lacrosse. After high school he attended the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in business administration. Upon graduation, Brian worked in professional sports marketing and promotions, eventually attending Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island, where he earned his commission as an ensign in the U.S. Navy in 2011."

This article originally appeared on Pensacola News Journal: Blue Angels in Annapolis: Here's the latest parking info, schedule