Commissioning Week at the Naval Academy brings flights by the Blue Angels, road closures, boating rule changes and more.
ANNAPOLIS, MD — Road closures and boating restrictions on local waterways will be common in the next week during events tied to graduation at the U.S. Naval Academy, including aerial performances by the Blue Angels.
The Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron will perform above the Severn River, Tuesday, May 23 and Wednesday, May 24 as part of the Naval Academy’s Commissioning Week. These events are free and open to the public.
Viewing areas for the show will include Ingram Field, portions of Farragut Field and Hospital Point on the Naval Academy grounds. Visitors may experience delays due to an increased number of visitors on the Yard. All pedestrians are urged to leave bags at home in order to reduce wait times at the gates.
The Blue Angels fly a team of six Navy F/A-18 Hornets and a C-130 Hercules, affectionately known as “Fat Albert.” The team will perform various high-speed, aerobatic, precision-maneuvers during their approximately two-hour long, narrated air show at the Naval Academy.
Blue Angel Flight Times
- On Tuesday, May 23, the Blue Angels will arrive in Annapolis and circle the city between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
- On Wednesday, May 24, the performance and flight demonstration will begin at 2 p.m.
Here’s where to see the Blue Angels, according to Visit Annapolis.
- Tuesday, over the Severn River at 11:00 am – 1:00 pm for circle and arrival, and at 1:45 pm – 4:00 pm for a flight rehearsal.
- Wednesday, over the Severn River at 1:45 pm – 4:00 pm for a flight demonstration.
- Friday, above the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium for the time-honored graduation flyover.
Flight times depend on the weather.
Road Closures, Detours
When the Blue Angels are flying the Route 450/Naval Academy Bridge over the Severn River will be closed to ALL traffic, vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian. The bridge will be closed on Tuesday, May 23 between 10:45 a.m. and 1 p.m. and between 1:45 p.m. and 4 p.m. and on Wednesday, May 24 between 1:45 p.m. and 4 p.m.
In the event of foul weather the bridge could be closed on Wednesday between 10:45 a.m. and 1 p.m. The bridge closures are expected to cause traffic congestion in and around Annapolis.
Roads affected include Maryland Route 450, U.S. Route 50, Roscoe Rowe Boulevard, King George Street, Annapolis Street, and Taylor Avenue.
Public Access to Academy
Here is a list of which Naval Academy gates to use:
- Gate 1 – vehicular access from 6 a.m.-10 p.m. (1:00 a.m. on Fri & Sat)
- Gate 1 – pedestrian access from 5 a.m.-midnight (2:00 a.m. on Fri & Sat)
- Gate 3 – vehicular access from 6 a.m.-9 a.m./egress 3:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m. Tue – Fri ONLY
- Gate 3 – pedestrian access from 6 a.m.- 10 p.m.
- Gate 8 – pedestrian/vehicular access 24 hours
Handicapped visitors may bring vehicles onto USNA with handicapped plates or placards and they must be present in the vehicle; vehicles will be searched before access is granted.
Guests may bring daypacks, diaper bags, camera cases, and purses. Larger bags and large coolers are prohibited. All bags are subject to search; weapons and alcoholic beverages are prohibited. For the most up-to-date security information, visit www.usna.edu/CommissioningWeek/.
Parking is available at the blue side of the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium for a $5 fee for cars, $10 for RVs. There is a free daily shuttle between the stadium and the academy; shuttle buses are not wheelchair accessible.
When the Blue Angels are flying the Route 450/Naval Academy Bridge over the Severn River will be closed to ALL traffic, vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian.
The bridge will be closed onTuesday, May 23 between 10:45 a.m. and 1 p.m. and between 1:45 p.m. and 4 p.m. and on Wednesday, May 24 between 1:45 p.m. and 4 p.m. In the event of foul weather the bridge could be closed on Wednesday between 10:45 a.m. and 1 p.m.
The bridge closures are expected to cause traffic congestion in and around Annapolis. Roads affected include Maryland Route 450, U.S. Route 50, Roscoe Rowe Boulevard, King George Street, Annapolis Street, and Taylor Avenue.
Graduation Ceremony Traffic
The U.S. Naval Academy graduation ceremony is scheduled to be held at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Friday, May 26 at 10 a.m. The roads around the stadium are expected to be congested due to the large number of people attending the graduation.
Roads affected may include U.S. Route 50, Roscoe Rowe Bouelvard, Farragut Road, Taylor Avenue, Cedar Park Road, Annapolis Street, and Maryland Route 450.
Road congestion is expected to start at 6 a.m. and to peak between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. There will also be congestion after 1 p.m., when the ceremony ends.
While no roads will be shut down for the duration of the graduation, some roads will be closed on a rolling basis as escorts move to the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and when the Brigade of Midshipmen march from the U.S. Naval Academy to the stadium. Officers will be directing traffic on the roads surrounding the stadium and the normal traffic patterns will be changed to maximize traffic flow into and out of the stadium.
For more information about Commissioning Week, including entry restrictions to the Naval Academy, go to http://www.usna.edu/CommissioningWeek/index.php.
Boat and Water Restrictions
The U.S. Coast Guard will establish a temporary regulated area Tuesday and Wednesday, May 23 and 24, in designated waters in the Severn River and College Creek for the Blue Angels air show.
River closures will be from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday. During this time, vessels will not be permitted to travel through the flight box.
The regulated area will be in effect from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, which may limit or prohibit navigation by commercial and recreational waterway users.
The regulated area will include the Severn River north of the Severn River Bridge from shore to shore, and south from Luce Creek to Greenbury Point.
Buoys marking the boundary zone for Coast Guard safety and enforcement patrol operations will be set by 9:30 a.m. each day, and can be a visual reference for spectators setting up anchorage.
A temporary access channel marked with red and green buoys will be established near Horn Point, to allow vessels to transit into and out of Annapolis Harbor during the event; vessels operating in this area will do so at their own discretion.
At no time will spectators be permitted to obstruct both the temporary access channel and the federal navigation channel outside the regulated area. In addition, a Commercial Vessel Spectator Zone is located immediately adjacent to the temporary access channel: only pre-approved commercial passenger vessels will be permitted within this designated on-water spectator zone.
The City of Annapolis Emergency Operations Center will be activated from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 22, through Friday, May 26. The City of Annapolis Call Center will be activated to receive non-emergency phone calls from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. during these days. The Call Center can answer questions related to the USNA Commissioning Week traffic, events, road closures, and other changes to normal City activities. The phone number for the Annapolis Call Center is (410) 260-2211. To report a problem to the police department call (410) 268-4141 or 9-1-1 in an emergency.
For more information about the Blue Angels, visit www.blueangels.navy.mil.