The OC Air Show returns to the resort June 18-19
If you’re looking for a great weekend to celebrate America, you don’t have to wait for the Fourth of July. The Ocean City Air Show has become a signature destination event in June, with record crowds turning out every year to watch the nation’s top military and civilian pilots perform right over the beach.
“The Ocean City Air Show has become a summer tradition for families near and far,” said Ocean City mayor Rick Meehan. “There is something very patriotic about sitting on the sand, with the salt air and cool breeze and the sound of jets flying above. The air show symbolizes everything that we represent in Ocean City: family, freedom and fun!”
This year’s festivities will take place on Saturday and Sunday, June 18 and 19. The headlining act features the return of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, a precision jet demonstration team featuring six F16s painted in patriotic red, white and blue and flying at top speeds, just inches apart when in formation.
But the star of the show might be something most people have never seen before. The crowd will be able to witness one of the first flights ever of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter at a civilian air show. The single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth fighter is undergoing final development and testing by the U.S. Department of Defense.
The F-35 will be part of a Heritage Flight, which honors the Air Force past and present. It will fly alongside a P-51 Mustang, a Korean War-era aircraft. Heritage flights serve as living memorials to the men and women who have served — or are currently serving — in the U.S. Air Force.
Each year, the OC Air Show attracts the best military demonstration teams, as well as the top civilian performers. Most arrive midweek, to practice, so lucky beachgoers often get a great show on the Friday before the big weekend. The air show also features hospitality events beginning on Thursday night, including opportunities for the public to meet and greet the pilots and the crews. The Saturday-night event is hosted by the Casino at Ocean Downs and offers the best chance for the entire family to get autographs and photos with the Thunderbirds.
“The OC Air Show has a tremendous economic impact on the town,” said Melanie Pursel, Ocean City Chamber of Commerce executive director. “Many businesses embrace the event by offering air-show packages and specials that are patriotic or air-show-themed. It is one of the largest events of the year, drawing crowds from all over. The fact that this is the only oceanfront air show in our region makes it that much more alluring, plus the lineup each year is incredibly impressive, from military-jet teams to civilian performers. The Chamber has been a part of the event from the very first year, and we have watched it grow into a signature event in Ocean City.”
For more information on the performers, best ticket options and the events associated with the event, follow the show on Facebook and visit www.OCAirShow.com.
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