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Milwaukee Air & Water Show 2022: When the Blue Angels perform and everything else you need to know

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel 7/18/2022 Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Look, up in the sky: The Milwaukee Air & Water Show is back. 

Grounded for the past two summers by the COVID-19 pandemic, the air show is getting ready to bring back hundreds of thousands of people to Milwaukee's lakefront from McKinley to Bradford and beaches July 23-24. 

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels are this year's headline attraction. They'd actually been booked for the Milwaukee air show in 2020, but, well, you know what happened. 

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“This will be the first show in three years," said Paul Rogers, founder and president of the Milwaukee Air & Water Show. “ … We’ve got a lot of people behind the scenes working on this, but it’s been a real challenge doing this.” 

Rogers said the continuing support of title sponsor WaterStone Bank over the long delay was crucial to the air show's return this year: “If it wasn’t for them, there wouldn’t be an air show.” 

Here's what you need to know about the 2022 edition of the Milwaukee Air & Water Show. 

When is the 2022 Milwaukee Air & Water Show? 

The Milwaukee air show runs July 23-24, with the schedule the same both days. The gates open at 9 a.m. The water show runs from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., and the air show from noon to 4 p.m.   

To get a glimpse of coming attractions, air show practices are expected in Milwaukee's skies from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 22. 

Where is the air show being staged? 

Events in the air and water show are being held along and above Lake Michigan from Bradford Beach to McKinley Beach, just north of downtown Milwaukee. 

How much are tickets for the air show

Admission to the air show is free. But to get closer to the action, there are a number of reserved-seating options along McKinley Park, south of McKinley Beach. Tickets to the CenterPoint area near McKinley Beach are $10.50 to $36.75 each day; seats in the Flight-Line area for Sunday only start at $15.75, and Sky-Chalet VIP seating costs $36.75 to $183.75. Tickets are available at the air show's website,, and will be available at the box office on the event grounds starting July 22. 

What about parking for the air show

According to the air show's website, reserved lakefront parking for the event is already sold out. But Rogers pointed out that there should be parking in the Milwaukee County Parks grass lots from McKinley Marina south to Veterans Park; the lots open at 7:30 a.m. both days. There's also parking in the O'Donnell Park structure across from the Milwaukee Art Museum as well as street parking in the surrounding neighborhoods. In addition, Rogers said, there'll be handicapped parking spots marked by the Sheriff’s Department along Lincoln Memorial Drive.  

What if there's bad weather the weekend of the air show? 

The Milwaukee Air & Water Show goes on regardless of the weather, but some acts may pull the plug if some weather conditions exist, like dangerous wave conditions or low visibility. (The latter forced some acts to cancel in 2019, and led the Thunderbirds to cut their performance short in 2018.)  

When are the Blue Angels performing at the Milwaukee air show

The Blue Angels are scheduled as the finale for both days of the air show, taking wing at 3 p.m. July 23-24. Rogers noted the Angels are flying new F/A-18 Super Hornets in their Milwaukee visit. It's the first time the Blue Angels will be performing at the Milwaukee air show since 2017. (For Blue Angels fans, Rogers said they've already been booked for the 2023 Milwaukee Air & Water Show, scheduled for July 22-23, 2023.)  

Is there going to be a B-29 superfortress in the air show? 

"Doc," a restored World War II B-29 superfortress, will be taking part in the 2022 Milwaukee Air & Water Show. © Colin Boyle/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "Doc," a restored World War II B-29 superfortress, will be taking part in the 2022 Milwaukee Air & Water Show.

The B-29 Doc History Restored Tour is stopping in Milwaukee before heading up to the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh next week. The restored World War II superfortress — one of only two still flying, Rogers said — will be at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport, where you can take a ride with history in the B-29 Doc Flight Experience, which runs July 21-23. (Tickets start at $600. See for details.) Before heading to Oshkosh, the B-29 for the first time will take part in Milwaukee's air show. 

What other acts will be in the air show?

In addition to the Blue Angels and the restored B-29, there'll be more than a dozen air acts showing their stuff over the weekend. Among them: 

The U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor Team returns to the Milwaukee Air & Water Show this weekend. © Trace Christenson/Battle Creek Enquirer The U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor Team returns to the Milwaukee Air & Water Show this weekend.
  • The U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor Demo Team, which hasn't been part of the air show in seven years. 
  • The Blue Angels' C-130 “Fat Albert” Demonstration; the new version of the massive support aircraft that has been to Milwaukee before.
  • The Wisconsin Air National Guard's F-16 Fighting Falcon and KC-135 Strato-Tanker. 
  • A pair of A-10 Thunderbolt II Warthogs from the Michigan Air National Guard. 
  • A U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft. 
  • A U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight P-51 Mustang.
  • The Children of Fallen Heroes Parachute Team, which accompanies the performance of the national anthem that starts each day's air show with “a big American flag jump," Rogers said, with parachutists holding aloft the giant flag as they descend, landing at Bradford Beach. 

There's a water show, too, right? What can people expect?  

Seven acts are scheduled to perform both mornings of the Milwaukee Air & Water Show, including the Badgerland and Muskego Waterbugs water ski team.  

Contact Chris Foran at Follow him on Twitter at @cforan12. 

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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Milwaukee Air & Water Show 2022: When the Blue Angels perform and everything else you need to know

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