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Everything you need to know for the 2021 Cleveland National Air Show this Labor Day weekend

PHOTOS: Cleveland National Air Show
Posted at 11:00 AM, Sep 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-03 07:21:50-04

CLEVELAND — Labor Day weekend means the unofficial end of summer, traditionally marked in Northeast Ohio by the Cleveland National Air Show.

When it’s happening
The Air Show will take place Labor Day weekend, Sept. 4, 5 and 6. Gates open at 9 a.m. each day. No entry or re-entry after 3 pm.

Remember: we're not under attack
Expect to hear jets flying close to downtown and over the lake in the days leading up to the air show.

What to know before you go
General admission tickets are only available in advance, online via the Air Show website until 10 a.m. each event day. There will be no gate sales this year.

Tickets are $35 for adults, ages 6-11 are $20, and kids under 5 are free. Buy tickets here.

Reserved box seats start at $40.

General admission tickets are day-specific and are considered lawn seats and do not include a reserved seat. Visitors are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket when purchasing tickets.

Due to staffing shortages, there will be no entrance via East 26th Street/Muni Lot/Gate 9. Visitors are asked to use the Plaza Gate, which can be accessed through East 9th Street for walk-in or Gate 13 for drive-in/parking.

Parking
Parking directions, according to the Cleveland National Air Show:

To access the Air Show on-site parking lot exit onto East 55th Street and proceed to North Marginal Road. Take North Marginal Road west. The parking lot is located at Gate 13 (near Aviation High School). The on-site parking lot opens at 9 a.m. and the parking fee is $25 per vehicle. Guests must also present their tickets at the parking lot entrance for admittance.

Parking is first-come, first served, so to ensure convenient parking, please plan to arrive early in the day. North Marginal Road will be closed once the lot is filled. After the show, all vehicles must exit the on-site parking lot. The Air Show on-site parking lot will be locked at 6:00 p.m.

The parking lot located in front of the Burke Lakefront Airport terminal is not operated by the Air Show and is typically a $35+ fee. Guests can also walk from the various downtown parking lots north on East Ninth Street to the Air Show or take the RTA (see below).

For directions to the air show click here.

Ride-Share Pick-Up:
Due to heavy “exit only” traffic, Uber/Lyft pick-ups must take place on Lakeside Avenue, near the Willard Park / Free Stamp.

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In the air sights
The aerial sights of the Cleveland National Air Show are just as exciting as fireworks, if not more. The views of high-speed aircraft jetting in tight formation is something that never gets old.

The F-15 Eagle will perform a fly-by each day of the 2021 Air Show. The F-15 is an all-weather, extremely maneuverable fighter. The Louisiana Air National Guard’s flying unit, the 159th Fighter Wing, nicknamed the "Bayou Militia” will fly the F-15 in Cleveland.

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Each show day, the six select Thunderbird pilots will put their F-16 Falcon jet fighters through a choreographed 50-minute performance at speeds up to 500 mph as they reach as close to three feet from one another.

Some of the other acts that visitors can expect include:

  • U.S. Air Force A-10 Tac Demo
  • USA Golden Knights
  • Playful Airshow
  • USCG HH-65C SAR Dem
  • WWII C-47B Skytrain
  • PyroTechnics
  • C-130 Hercules Demo

On the ground
Get up close and personal with aircraft and local heroes, including tours of the cockpits, the USAF Hanger, the Tuskegee Airmen Display and other aircraft displays like the A-10 Thunderbolt.

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COVID-19 protocols

  • Facial coverings are optional for fully vaccinated attendees but are still recommended in crowded settings. Those who are not fully vaccinated are advised by the CDC to wear a mask.
  • Hand sanitizer will be readily available through the Air Show.
  • Cashless transactions at all food and souvenir locations are encouraged.
  • There will be a fan isolation area dedicated to anyone who begins to not feel good after entering the event. If you feel ill before entering the Air Show, you’re asked to stay home.

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