It’s been two years, but the Fort Lauderdale Air Show is back.
Well, the Ford Lauderdale Air Show is. The sponsorship from the South Florida dealership is the first for the show since 2007.
The last show was an all-civilian show due to the sequestration — the harsh government budget cuts of 2013. The year after, ripped up airport runways meant no show at all. Same for 2015, when A1A was torn up.
But this year, lawn chairs will be unfolded, sunscreen will be slathered, cold beers will be drank, and most importantly, aircraft will loop and zoom through the sky.
The big ticket item for this year is the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, which will appear on both days of the weekend show. This will be the first appearance of the F-35 in a civilian air show in North America.
“It’s the Air Force’s newest and fastest jet,” said Cathy Bassett, public relations director for the show. “It hasn’t even been approved for combat.”
Bassett said the F-35 will soar along with the North American P-51 Mustang, a fighter-bomber plane used during World War II in honor of the “past, present and future of the U.S. Airforce.”
Other headliners include the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and Canadian Air Force Snowbirds. Viewers can also glimpse the Breitling jet team, the U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier Jet, the Canadian Armed Forces CF-18 Superhornet and the U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet.
Parking lots open at 8 a.m. and the gates to the “Drop Zone” on Fort Lauderdale Beach open at 9 a.m., so Bassett urges visitors to come early and “make a day of it.” Performances start at 11 a.m. each day, and gates close at 4 p.m.
“It’s four hours of incredible performances by very inspiring acts,” she said. “What they can do is pretty amazing.”
If You Go
What: Fort Lauderdale Air Show
When: Saturday and Sunday. Parking opens at 8 a.m.; gates open at 9 a.m.; shows scheduled from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; gates close at 4 p.m.
Where:Fort Lauderdale Dog Beach, East Sunrise Boulevard North to the 1100 block of North State Road A1A. North and southbound A1A will be closed from the north side of Sunrise Boulevard to Northeast 14th Court.
Cost: Tickets for adults are $34, tickets for children are $22
Parking: The Galleria Mall on Sunrise Blvd is the closest spot, and pre-parking is available for $20.
For information: Fortlauderdaleairshow.com or call 877-301-8499