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'Thunder on the Buffalo Waterfront' air show coming to Buffalo's Outer Harbor

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Thu, May 13th 2021 08:55 pm

Formerly known as ‘Thunder of Niagara’ air show, new event will take place with ticketing & social distancing measures to keep audiences safe

More information can be found here

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday announced the “Thunder on the Buffalo Waterfront” air show will take place at Buffalo's Outer Harbor on June 19-20. The outdoor event, sponsored by the Vein Treatment Center, features a range of military and civilian aerial performers.

A press release stated, “This year's show will be a ticketed event, with reduced capacity and social distancing measures in place to ensure a safe return of the exciting Western New York tradition. For those who enjoy hearing fighter jets scream across the skies, the sight of old fighter planes or are just aircraft lovers, be prepared because this year's show is not one to miss.”

Cuomo said, "New Yorkers have done incredible work in the fight against COVID and, as the state's positivity rate continues to decline, we've been able resume many of the events that New Yorkers look forward to every year. The ‘Thunder on the Buffalo Waterfront’ air show is no exception. This beloved event will serve as a phenomenal welcome back for Western New Yorkers and visitors alike, and we are nothing short of thrilled that it is able to resume in 2021."

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said, "What better way to welcome Western New Yorkers and visitors back to the waterfront than with an air show at Buffalo's Outer Harbor. We are ensuring that all safety precautions are in place to protect everyone involved. I encourage everyone to make plans now to see this family-friendly event, and continue to support local businesses along the waterfront that need our help now more than ever."

The “Thunder of Niagara,” one of the largest air shows in the country, was previously canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It now returns with a new name and a new location.

This year's show will feature the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, which will be celebrating its 75th anniversary season. Also performing are the Air Force F-16 Viper demo teams, the United States Canadian CF-18 Hornet demo team, Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt (Warthog), world aerobatic champion Rob Holland, as well as many other world-class civilian performers.

The air show will take place from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 19-20. Entry to the venue will open at 9 a.m. both days, three hours prior to show time. A portion of the proceeds will support the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park.

"As a longtime air show director, I am proud to partner with ECHDC and the Buffalo waterfront team to bring the first-ever air show to downtown Buffalo over Lake Erie," said Ben Canetti, air show director. "The COVID-19 pandemic has prevented military bases from hosting air shows, which has given us the unique opportunity to bring this years' show from the Niagara Falls Air Force Base to the Buffalo waterfront. Here we are able to capitalize on a larger area and provide a safe and socially distanced high-powered event."

Visitors must purchase a ticket in advance. Three ticket types will be available, in accordance with health and safety protocols on social gatherings and distancing:

√ VIP – Includes reserved outdoor seating, a chalet to escape the sun, catered lunch, unlimited beverages, private VIP restrooms, reserved parking space, and a top view of the event. VIP tickets must be purchased in blocks of two or four in observation of Erie County and state COVID-19 guidelines.

√ VIP premium – Includes all the amenities of a VIP ticket, but also includes prime seating right along the water with the best views. VIP premium tickets must be purchased in blocks of two or four in observation of Erie County and state COVID-19 guidelines.

√ General admission – vehicle – drive-in tickets will allow the attendee a parking spot and space next to their vehicle to watch the show. General admission vehicle tickets allow for up to five persons per vehicle. An "XL vehicle" ticket will be offered for larger vehicles, allowing for up to eight passengers. Campers, RV's, buses, travel trailers and all other oversized vehicles, 80 inches or taller, are not permitted.

Discounted hotel packages for visitors traveling to Buffalo for the air show are available through Buffalo Waterfront Group partners at The Travel Team. Packages include exclusive "Air Show Jetsetter Packages" featuring one night overnight accommodations at downtown Buffalo hotels and air show ticket starting at $198, including breakfast for two and overnight parking. For more information, contact The Travel Team at 1-877-357-4471 or [email protected].

Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, May 14. Tickets are limited and only available online here. Parking at the Outer Harbor will be reduced, and only those with a ticket will be allowed to enter the show area. The Buffalo Waterfront Group will have additional staff on hand to enforce all health and safety guidelines, including required face coverings and social distancing.

ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia said, "ECHDC is excited to host the first air show ever to take place on the Buffalo waterfront. The Outer Harbor is the perfect location for families to have a thrill filled adventure as a wide variety of performers speed across the sky. Combined with Canalside activities, the waterfront is this summer's perfect destination for a weekend getaway."

Vice President of Operations and Finance for Buffalo Waterfront Management Group Kevin Parkinson said, "The Buffalo Waterfront Management Group is excited to bring events back to the Outer Harbor this summer in a safe and enjoyable environment. The air show will be a one-of-a-kind event for our waterfront and we are thankful to everyone that is working together to make this possible."

Paul J. Marzello Sr., president and CEO of the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park, said, "The Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park is extremely grateful that a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the ‘Save The Sullivans’ campaign. We are particularly proud that the public will get to see the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels perform. They will ignite the Buffalo waterfront with a display of awesome power and unprecedented flying skills. If this is your first air show, it certainly won't be your last."

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