The Miami Beach Air & Sea Show returned to Miami Beach this year after it got canceled last year due to Covid-19. It was held as usual during Memorial Day Weekend. I attended the air show in 2019 and it became one of my favorite airshows. The main reason for that is, that it is held over the ocean just off the beach. That means there is no fence and buildings which would hinder you while photographing the event. You can also view it from any place along the beach, including your hotel room if it faces the ocean.
There is a prime viewing area, the Beach Club at Show Center, for which you have to get tickets to enter. You can buy different kinds of tickets including viewing suites which go for serious money. Most of the highlights of the performances are conducted near this prime viewing area. It seemed like the air sea rescue demonstration of the U.S. Coast Guard on Saturday was performed too far north from the actual viewing area.
You can also rent one of the many hotel beach loungers and watch the air & sea show or just bring your own gear as the beach is public and open to everyone.
Action Zone & Display Village
Between 11th and 14th street, an action zone and display village were set up at Lummus Park. Featuring the five branches of the U.S. military and Miami Beach’s police, fire, and first responder agencies besides other events like Monster Motocross Demonstration and tents of the various sponsors including the main sponsor Hyundai.
Covid-19 Precautions at the Air & Sea Show
The Covid-19 pandemic is still an ongoing threat in 2021. Signs were posted all over Lummus Park and the Beach Club at Show Center with the usual announcements to stay 6ft apart, wear a face mask and wash your hands. Additionally, there was a Covid-19 testing station and everyone was able to get a test without registration. If you haven’t gotten your vaccine yet, you were also able to get your vaccine shot right there at Lummus Park for free and without an appointment. I didn’t take photos of these places to protect the privacy of the people as the country is divided whether to get a vaccine or not.
On either end of Lummus Park, a cluster of porta-potties was set up with handwashing stations outside however no trash cans for the paper towels and people just put them back in the sink.
It was an open-air event and I barely saw anybody wearing a mask. Beaches were crowded as well and there was almost nowhere social distancing. I got there early to get a good spot near the water line and kept my distance but as it got more crowded other people just came rudely and placed themselves right next to me. If you believe in humanity your faith will be heavily disrupted in Southern Florida, as not even people staying at my hotel in Pompano Beach wore face masks when in public places even tho it was still required by the hotel. On the other hand, the hotel there did nothing to actually enforce it. I don’t have many problems if people don’t wear masks outside, but at least put it on the few minutes you walk through the hotel lobby to go to your room or if you decide to hang out in the lobby. It’s just fair for everyone.
Photographing the Event
The event started at noon on Saturday and Sunday but getting a parking spot by that time near the beach was nearly impossible. It was also a holiday weekend and many people around the country flocked to Florida as they relaxed almost all Covid-19 restrictions. I understand, if you are hunkered down in your home for over a year, you have to urge to go out.
I parked at the new Miami Beach Convention Center which had plenty of parking available and also the rate was cheap. I paid $8 and $9 dollar for Saturday and Sunday respectively. On Saturday I came early to the area to have enough time to hunt for a parking spot, which was a good decision. Parking garages near the beach were already at full capacity and closed. I found a parking garage near the convention center first and they would have charged me $35 dollars and only had valet parking. The convention center parking was just one block further down the road and only a fraction of the price.
From the convention center, it was an easy four-block walk east towards the beach and then I just followed the beach South to find a good spot near the water and close to the official event area as most of the action would be happening there.
During the air show, beachgoers walked up to me and asked what was going on. They were just here for a day at the beach and didn’t know about the air show. People definitely enjoyed the show and they had their phones out to take pictures and videos of the event.
My highlights were the B-52 and B-2 bombers. I have photographed the B-52 before but it was the first time I was able to capture the B-2. Unfortunately, this year the Blue Angels didn’t perform at the air show. However, I captured them a few weeks before in Melbourne, FL.
Peter has a passion for Traveling, Photography, and Geocaching. These are the best ingredients for amazing adventures all over the globe. “Traveling is fun, no matter if you stay in a luxury hotel or travel like a backpacker.” Peter shares his experiences on his Blog www.gatetoadventures.com
Some of Peter’s photos are published on corporate websites, in-flight magazines, travel guides, and much more.