JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – The Navy's top pilots, the Blue Angels, are in town and thousands of fans are heading to the beaches this weekend. Traffic is always an issue but, this year, construction will add to the challenge.
Elite aviators perfected their precision flying Friday in preparation for the much anticipated return of the Sea and Sky Spectacular to Jacksonville Beach.
Local vendors set up for the show while police are posted at nearly every corner. About 100,000 people are expected to attend throughout the weekend and that means parking in the quaint Jax Beach business district will be tough to come by.
“The general public that normally comes to the beach and just assumes there's parking will find that really won't be an option this weekend,” said Asst. Chief Leonard Propper with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
Bicycles are a common way to get around town, but don't count on that this weekend. Cars and bicycles are banned near the beach. The closure will span from Beach Blvd. north to Sixth Ave. N.
Most parking lots, including the one at Latham Park, won't be open to the public.
With parking near the show out of the question, organizers want you to take a shuttle from the TPC lot at A1A and SR210. Parking will cost drivers $20, but the shuttle is free.
“If I come here this weekend, I plan on riding a bike or walking because there’s no way you can get out of here, traffic is just horrendous,” said Dale Mullen.
Construction adds to the challenge. A stretch of Beach Blvd. is the main artery into Jax Beach, but now it's a headache for drivers caught in the detour.
A planner with the city of Jacksonville Beach told Action News that the portion of the street under construction would have been closed to the public regardless of the show over the weekend.
“We absolutely took the show into account. It's always been our intent that we would be away from the center of the show, which is in and around the pier and we've done that,” said city planner Steve Lindorff.
The Sea and Sky Spectacular starts at 9:30 Saturday morning at the Jacksonville Beach oceanfront.Download the Action News Mobile App and send us your Blue Angels video and pictures