It was the first time an airshow flew along the beach in Biloxi, and the U.S. Navy Blue Angels zoomed by in front of the crowds that watched Saturday from the waterfront, from boats and wading the water.
Those who want an encore can see the Blues Over Biloxi airshow again Sunday starting at 1 p.m., with the Blue Angels performing at around 2:10 p.m.
Admission is free and the event is headquartered at The Great Lawn at Harrah’s Gulf Coast, although everywhere along the beaches in East Biloxi provides a great view.
As the Blue Angels performed their diamond formations, inverted rolls and loops up into the sun and back down toward the water, they followed the topography and history of Biloxi over the fishing boats and Deer Island and zipping around the neighboring casinos.
“It was so cool to see the planes fly right over you,” said Bobby Carter of Ocean Springs, who watched Friday’s Blue Angels practice from a boat in the channel.
The water amplified the roar of the afterburners and “You could definitely feel them,” said Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich, who brought the Blue Angels to the Biloxi beach after seeing them fly along the beach in Pensacola, Florida.
Traffic flowed smoothly most of the day in East Biloxi and people at The Great Lawn snacked on bacon and Nutella crepes, alligator on a stick and everything cold while watching the performances in the air.
Many in the crowd drove to Biloxi from Alabama and Louisiana with groups of family and friends, joining Coast residents to marvel as the Blue Angels screamed overhead.
Hotel rooms are full across South Mississippi, said Milton Segarra, CEO of Visit MS Gulf Coast. “With events like this you raise the visibility of the destination,” he said.
“Look,” Moe Siddiqi of Mobile, Alabama, shouted out as he caught sight of one of the planes heading down the beach.
“I’m a pilot so I’ve had a love of flying all my life,” he said. He and his wife, Rhonda, brought their 5-year-old granddaughter to the show and said, “We came for the whole weekend.”
Biloxi is home to Keesler Air Force Base, which will host the Air Force Thunderbirds for an airshow in April, and military plane flyovers were saluted by the crowd.
Jamie Price of Mobile watched the airshow with family and friends and declared as the planes roared past, “We love the Blue Angels. There goes our freedom.”