By Robyn A. Friedman
City & Shore Magazine
Planning to attend the Ford Lauderdale Air Show this year on Fort Lauderdale Beach?
It’s bound to be an exciting weekend, with the elite U.S. Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet TAC Demo team headlining the event.
Other performers this year include a demonstration of the C-17 GlobeMaster III cargo aircraft by the New York Air National Guard’s 105th Airlift Wing and a U.S. Coast Guard Search and Rescue demonstration, showcasing how they perform an out-the-door water rescue of a person in distress from a helicopter hovering overhead.
This year’s show will not include the U.S. Air Force’s Thunderbirds, air show organizers announced Thursday (4/26). The marquee air demonstration team canceled several scheduled appearances following the death of Maj. Stephen Del Bagno, killed in the crash of a F-16 Fighting Falcon on April 4 during a training flight at the Nevada Test and Training Range.
“While we’re disappointed the Thunderbirds will not be performing, we totally respect their decision given the situation,” said Bryan Lilley, President of the Ford Lauderdale Air Show. “We wish them the best as they recover from their loss and are happy to see Maj. Nick Krajicek returning to the team. That said, we’re excited the U.S. Navy has confirmed the Super Hornet and that Fort Lauderdale will be one of only four shows announced to date where it will perform.”
While you can certainly enjoy all the events at the Air Show from the beach for free, VIP experiences can make the weekend even more exciting and enjoyable.
“A beach air show is really something to see,” Lilley said. “While there are areas on Fort Lauderdale Beach that one could watch for free, we do offer a couple of VIP ticket packages that enhance the fan experience exponentially.”
- The Flight Line Club, for $179 per day, includes unobstructed views of the show from both the sand and under a tent, a catered lunch (hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken breast and pulled pork), an event program and commemorative event credentials. There’s also reserved parking within walking distance and access to rest rooms.
- Drop Zone Beach tickets offer viewing at the “aerial 50-yard line,” food and beverages available for purchase, a complimentary program guide and rest rooms. Tickets cost $29.75 for adults and $14.75 for children aged 6-12.
Three hotels are offering special viewing parties for the Air Show as well. On May 5, from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort will host an event on its sixth floor Sky Deck. Tickets are $149 and include valet parking, unlimited tacos and beer from 1-4 p.m., reserved seating and a DJ. Call 954-414-5131 or visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/conrad-fort-lauderdale-beach-vip-air-show-party-tickets-44929925617 for information or tickets.
On May 6, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort will hold an event in the BalQony, its open-air oceanfront terrace. Tickets are $45 and include valet parking and a DJ. Beer and light bites are available for purchase, and VIP upgrades are available for the lounge, with bottle service. Visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/air-show-viewing-party-tickets-44537654323?aff=efbeventtix for information and tickets.
On both days of the show, The Atlantic Hotel & Spa will host Atlantic Air Sky High Watch Parties on its fifth floor viewing deck between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. The $99 per day admission for adults ($59 for kids 3-12) includes a buffet-style lunch, three alcoholic beverages, unlimited soft drinks and water and live music. A VIP lounge is available for an additional $49, and that includes unlimited SKYY vodka cocktails, a sushi and sashimi buffet and access to an air-conditioned lounge. Tickets are available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/atlantic-air-sky-high-air-show-watch-party-tickets-44913152448.
The Ford Lauderdale Air Show takes place May 5-6 on Fort Lauderdale Beach. For information, call 877-377-8499 or visit fordlauderdaleairshow.com.