Blue Angel

Lt. Julius Bratton, Blue Angels 7 pilot, explains the value of air shows and what they're looking forward to at June's air show at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station during a press event in November.

Thunder on the Niagara is shifting venues in 2021. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that the Thunder on the Buffalo Waterfront air show will take place at Buffalo's Outer Harbor on June 19 and 20.

The Thunder of Niagara, one of the largest air shows in the country and held on the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, was previously cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The outdoor event on the waterfront will feature a range of military and civilian aerial performers. This year's show will be a ticketed event, with reduced capacity and social distancing measures in place.

This year's show will feature the U.S. Navy Blue Angels who 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 Saturday, June 19 and Sunday, June 20 from noon to 4 p.m. each day. 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 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."

Tickets go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. and 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 an incredible view of the event. VIP tickets must be purchased in blocks of two or four in observation of Erie County and NYS 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 NYS 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" 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

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