VERO BEACH — The U.S. Navy Blue Angels are paying a visit to Vero Beach before the biennial air show.
Two Blue Angels are scheduled to arrive at 9 a.m. Monday to Vero Beach Regional Airport in an iconic blue-and-gold F-18A Hornet, well ahead of the Vero Beach Air Show on April 25-26.
They are Navy Lt. Julius Bratton, of Woodlawn, Tenn., and Navy Lt. Cmdr. Adam Kerrick, of Huntingdon Valley, Penn., said Marty Zickert, the Blue Angels’ liaison to the Vero Beach Air Show.
“It’s a four-hour visit,” Zickert said. “Neither one of them have been here.”
With new people on the flight demonstration team every few years, the Blue Angels prepare for air shows by meeting with officials and learning about each area. Vero Beach will be their sixth of 29 air shows next year.
The Blue Angels started coming to the Vero Beach Air Show in 2014. They planned to come back in 2016 but canceled after Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss was killed during practice in Tennessee. The Blue Angels then returned for the 2018 show.
They keep coming back because they love Vero Beach, Zickert said.
“It’s a small town,” he said. “We do more for them than any town.”
The public can watch the Blue Angels arrive Monday by going through C.J. Cannon’s Restaurant and lining the fence at the airport.
People can’t go on the tarmac and see the plane, but they still can get close. That’s what makes the Vero Beach Air Show special, Zickert said.
“We are the closest to the Blues of any of the air shows they do,” he said. “We are called kind of the golden show.”
Vero Beach Air Show
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 25-26 (Blue Angels visit 9 a.m. Monday)
Where: Vero Beach Regional Airport, 3400 Cherokee Drive (go through C.J. Cannon’s Restaurant)
Activities: Aerobatic performers including U.S. Navy Blue Angels, aircraft displays and free Food Fest with 30 food trucks, live music and bounce houses starting at 5 p.m. Saturday at Riverside Park
Cost: Admission each day is $20 for ages 13 and older, $12 for ages 5-12 and free for ages 4 and younger. (The price increases to $25 and $15 after April 10). Parking is $10 per vehicle.