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Blue Angels tap MCAS for award, set 2018 air show date

CHERRY POINT – MCAS Cherry Point received the U.S. Navy Blue Angels flight demonstration team’s highest air show award at the International Council of Air Shows annual convention in Las Vegas Dec. 7.

The Blue Angels awarded Cherry Point the 2016 Blue Angel Air Show of the Year award, recognizing Cherry Point’s 2016 show as the Blue Angels’ top pick from the 35 Blue Angel performance locations during the year, according to a MCAS news release.

The Blue Angels have also put Cherry Point on their 2018 schedule, effectively setting the date for the next big show here for May 4-6, 2018.

The ICAS convention is held every year to bring air show performers and organizers together to plan for upcoming air show seasons. With the date set for the 2018 show, Cherry Point is already scheduling performers for that show.

“Everything revolves around the actual performance schedule for our show,” said Jim Riemer, the Cherry Point Air Show Director, who manages a behind-the-scenes team that will reach into the hundreds by the time the show days arrive. “We have to determine which performers are available, what they can bring to the table and how it will fit into the overall program. Our ultimate goal is to ensure we give our neighbors the greatest show possible.”

This year’s air show, held April 29-May 1, brought a record number of visitors to the air station to witness some of the world’s top aviation performers and to get a close look at the Marine Air Ground Task Force’s capabilities. An estimated 200,000 visitors from around North Carolina and around the world converged here for a three-day event that took more than a year in planning. The 2018 air show planning is already well underway.

As for the Blue Angel award, this is Cherry Point’s second time to receive it. In 2010, Cherry Point became the first military installation to ever receive the Blue Angel Air Show of the Year award.