This annual event has had various homes along the Space Coast – from the Cocoa Beach shoreline to the airport in Melbourne – but the best sights are always high above the ground.
Hundreds of thousands of people gather around every spring to see world-renowned air performers, space demonstrations and displays, rare planes and all things aero and awesome. The event is considered Central Florida’s biggest spectator event.
In fact, last year’s event drew an estimated 250,000 spectators.
The Melbourne Air and Space Show draws thousands of spectators every spring — Photo courtesy of Michael Seeley
This year’s Air and Space Show runs Saturday, March 21, and Sunday, March 22, at the Melbourne International Airport. At this family-friendly, patriotic event, expect to see anything from the prestigious U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the headline event this year; aircraft flown by top civilians and military pilots; jaw-dropping, sky-high acrobatics; and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.
Browse the hangars for related products and souvenirs. Plan on attending the kickoff and after parties, where you can mingle with performers.
The annual air and space show takes over the Melbourne airport — Photo courtesy of Michael Seeley
The air show now charges a small admission. Want to save money? Subscribe to the event’s social media pages, and keep your eyes open for giveaways and special deals. Or buy “early bird" tickets online for 30 percent off.
If you’re on a tight budget, you can join the thousands of spectators who pack coolers with snacks, blankets and chairs and enjoy watching the show from afar.
But people who have been past the gates will often agree it’s worth the ticket price to see the aircraft up close and personal. “Flight Line Club” tickets-holders can also enjoy lunch, beer, reserved parking and, best of all, the closer reserved seats under the tent.
Many people make a two-day event out of the show and stay at nearby hotels, some of which offer air show deals and shuttle service, and many of which also put up the pilots. This year, the Hilton Rialto Place is a main hotel for the event.
Parking can be tricky with crowds this big, so VIP reserved parking or shuttle service from your hotel to the airport can save a lot of stress and time. Plan extra time for walking and traffic jams, too.
And don't forget your camera. You'll want to capture this show on film.
For more information, visit the event website.