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Finishing touches put on ahead of Father's Day weekend Thunder on the Buffalo Waterfront Airshow


With the Thunder on the Buffalo Waterfront Airshow just a day away, show officials and pilots got one more run-through in before a sold-out crowd descends upon the Outer Harbor for the first air show on Buffalo’s waterfront.

Lt. Colonel Ben Canetti is the airshow’s director, and after not having the annual show at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station last year due to COVID restrictions, he’s excited to bring the same exciting experience south to Buffalo.

“I think it's an awesome idea to do one down here [in Buffalo]. Maybe not every year, because we still need to do it at the base as well,” said Canetti. “But are the only large city on any of the Great Lakes I know of that don't have one. Every year Toronto does one Labor Day weekend, every year in Cleveland, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Detroit. So we're finally added to the list and I was pretty excited.”

Official tickets at the Outer Harbor are all sold-out, with 5,000 sold. The nearby Buffalo Harbor State Park will be offering first-come, first-serve parking spots to watch the show at $20 apiece, and Charlie’s Boatyard will be doing the same at $40.

Credit Ryan Zunner / WBFO News
Lt. Col. Ben Canetti joined with Buffalo Waterfront and NYS Parks officials going over airshow preparations.

A Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 fighter jet will be opening the show at noon on Saturday. It will be followed by a U.S. Air Force C-5 Galaxy Transport, one of the largest aircrafts in the world.

Several civilian-flown high performance planes will also be part of the festivities, including two WNY locals who are piloting WWII-vintage P-51 Mustangs.

The main draw is the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels, piloting their iconic six Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornets. They’re expected to take to the air around 3pm, performing some of the most intricate aerobatic maneuvers. It’ll be the squadron’s first appearance in Buffalo since 2004.  

Gates open at 9:30am both Saturday and Sunday, with the show itself starting at noon and concluding by 4:00pm. Organizers are letting people know traffic in the area will be effected. The Outer Harbor exit of Route 5 will be closed during the show, as will Fuhrman Boulevard north of Ohio Street.