Today is the big Atlantic City Air Show, and what a big one it’s going to be. I came down on Tuesday to see some of the rehearsal runs, and all I can say is, wow. Here is the Atlantic City Air Show schedule, info on where to park for free, and some other details you won’t want to be without.
As you can imagine with something involving dozens of aviation demonstrations and that’s impacted by weather, the Atlantic City Air Show schedule is most certainly subject to change.
But here is the latest information we have on the Atlantic City Air Show schedule:
11:15 a.m.: US Army Golden Knights Flag Jump w/National Anthems
11:23 a.m.: US Army Golden Knights Mass Exit Show
11:29 a.m.: Multiple Military Flybys
11:48 a.m.: 6ABC Chopper Flyby
11:50 a.m.: Medical Helicopter Flybys
11:54 a.m.: New Jersey State Police Flybys
11:56 a.m.: Jim Beasley Jr. SNJ-5 Aerobatics
12L06 p.m.: NJ-ArNG/NJ-ANG UH-60 SPIES/FRIES Demonstration
12:14 p.m.: Multiple Military Flybys
12:28 p.m.: Paul Dougherty Christian Eagle Aerobatics
12:41 p.m.: US Coast Guard MH-65 Demonstration
12:53 p.m.: FAA William J Hughes Tech Center Global 5000 Flyby
12:55 p.m.: Canadian Forces Snowbirds
1:40 p.m.: Lee Leet Tucano Demonstration
1:54 p.m.: GEICO Skytypers
2:10 p.m.: Miss Geico Speedboat vs. GEICO Skytypers Race
2:19 p.m.: Jim Beasley Jr. P-51 Mustang Demonstrations
2:31 p.m.: Army Golden Knights Mass Exit Show
2:51 p.m.: Mike Wiskus LUCAS OIL Pitts Aerobatics
3:06 p.m.: USAF Thunderbirds Enlistment Ceremony
3:10 p.m.: USAF Thunderbirds
If one of those names looks familiar to you, it’s because we ran a big interview with Philly attorney Jim Beasley on Tuesday, where he told us about his love for flying.
Things were looking super iffy as of a couple of days ago for weather in Atlantic City during the air show, but now, everything looks pretty good. As of Wednesday morning, temperatures for the main hours of the Atlantic City Air Show were predicted to be in the low to mid 80s. It’s supposed to be partly cloudy most of the day, which isn’t great, but there’s very little chance of rain.
All of the casinos have parking lots where you can park for a fee, and there is metered street parking. But I’d say the best Atlantic City Air Show parking deal is at the Borgata.
You can park for free at the Borgata during the Atlantic City Air Show, and there is a free shuttle that will take you from the Borgata to the air show, which is on the other end of Atlantic City. (The Borgata is in the Marina area; the air show is on the Boardwalk.) The shuttle service starts at 10 a.m. and runs continuously to the beach until 1:30 p.m., and then the shuttles start making their way back to the Borgata, with the last Borgata-bound shuttle leaving the beach at 4:30 p.m.
There are plenty of other parking options, and you can get more information on them here.
So one of my favorite things about the Atlantic City Air Show is that it’s free, and all you have to do is pull your chair up to the beach, sit down, crack open a cold one, and watch fighter jets scream by. The central location for the Atlantic City Air Show is basically Florida Avenue and the Boardwalk, but I’ve watched it from all over Atlantic City over the years, and there’s really not a bad seat.
There are places where you can pay to watch the Atlantic City Air Show — some VIP experiences, some casino rooftop parties, etc. — but most of those are sold out and, frankly, it all just seems a little silly to me when you can just sit on the beach.
Another option is Chelsea Beach Bar, which is a super fun beach bar down near the Tropicana. It’s party central. You can sit there and drink Coronas or their special vodka lemonades all day while watching the air show. Or, on the other end of the Boardwalk, you can try to score a Boardwalk-facing room or suite with a balcony at Bart Blatstein’s Showboat. As far as watching the Atlantic City Air Show from a hotel room where you’ve got a bathroom close by, this is a really great option.
If you’re wondering what people with headphones on are listening to during the Atlantic City Air Show, it’s probably the live commentators on the radio. It’s sort of like the commentators at a baseball game. They tell you what you’re seeing and give you all kinds of fun details about what’s happening in front of you. You can listen to that broadcast on 1450AM or 104.1FM.
Obviously, you need to bring sunscreen to the Atlantic City Air Show, as well as all the other normal beach accessories and sundries. If you forget something, there are plenty of places on the Boardwalk selling what you probably need.
Note that it’s technically illegal to drink on the beach or Boardwalk, but they’re generally pretty relaxed with these rules as long as you’re behaving yourself. But I wouldn’t pull out a bottle of Fireball and guzzle from it. A can of beer in a koozie is a much better way to go. Discretion. Always discretion.
You should definitely leave your drone at home. They’re not allowed during the Atlantic City Air Show, for what I would hope would be obvious reasons.
Listen, if you’re bringing your kids to the Atlantic City Air Show, you need to keep an eye on them.
There is a lot of great action in the sky, but that doesn’t mean you should give up your basic parenting responsibilities. I say this because every time there is an Atlantic City Air Show, a bunch of kids wander off and are then reported missing, leading to frantic searches by authorities. Two years ago, 60 — yes, 60 — kids got lost or went missing. Fortunately, all were found. But let’s not let it get to that point.
Also, you should know that some of these planes are incredibly loud and scary for smaller kids or kids who might have heightened sensitivity to such things. So just be prepared for some possible tears or other issues when the Thunderbirds scream — and I do mean scream — by.
If you’re not leaving right when the Atlantic City Air Show is over, it’s a great time to stick around and see what’s new. Check out this guide I did earlier in the summer to what’s new in Atlantic City. And here’s a magazine feature I wrote about Atlantic City’s rebirth.
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