Coming off a record in 2016, the Cherry Point Air Show seeks to thrill thousands of spectators May 4 to 6 in Havelock.

And this year’s event already has two major attractions — two jet demonstration teams with the Navy’s Blue Angels and the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, the first time the show has ever featured two jet demonstration teams representing their respective countries.

The event will also feature a variety of civilian aerobatic performances along with military demonstrations, including the Marine Air Ground Task Force that concludes with its Wall of Fire.

The show also features a wide variety of static displays on the ground, including a variety of military aircraft, some of which can be toured from the inside, as well as military equipment and historical aircraft.

Also on the ground, a Kid Zone with bounce houses and a rock climbing wall will be available for an additional fee.

The activities at the Cherry Point Air Show in 2016 drew a record crowd estimated at 200,000 people. A large crowd is expected again to enjoy the May 4 Night Show, featuring plenty of pyrotechnics, and the two day shows on May 5 and 6.

Parking and general admission to the air show are free. Premium bleacher, box seat and chalet seating is available. Prices vary based on date of attendance and seat. Premium seating can be purchased in advance through the air show website at

Gates open to the public for the night show at 5 p.m. May 4, with the show expected to start around 7 p.m. and conclude at 10:30 p.m. Gates open for the two day shows May 5 and 6 at 8 a.m., with the show getting started at 9:30 a.m. and concluding at 4 p.m. A Saturday concert featuring country singer Jordan Davis is scheduled for 5 p.m. after the Blue Angels fly.

Three months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, the Marine Corps’ newest air station at Cherry Point welcomed its first aircraft on March 18, 1942. Ever since, the base has played a pivotal rule in training pilots to help protect the country, including service in such conflicts as World War II, Korea, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam, the Gulf War and the War on Terror.

Also almost since base operations began, it has hosted an open house that has grown into what is today the Cherry Point Air Show.

“It’s always a lot of fun,” said Havelock Mayor Will Lewis, who been to multiple shows hosted by Cherry Point. “You get to see all the military personnel and all the equipment that is used to defend our freedom, and that has tremendous value.”

He said those planning to attend the air show should take the opportunity to explore the static displays and talk to the military personnel on hand to thank them for their service.

“It’s a lot what they go through every day,” he said.

In the end though, Lewis said he is just as thrilled as everyone else to see the aerial maneuvers.

“Anytime I see the Blue Angels, I’m like a little kid again,” he said. “It’s so crazy to see them go so fast and defy the laws of physics. It’s always amazing.”

For more information about the Cherry Point Air Show, go online to the show website at