The Rhode Island National Guard Air Show, annually held at the Quonset Point Air National Guard Base, is always an eagerly anticipated event, and the year of 2009 is no exception. This year, the RI National Guard Air Show is scheduled for the weekend of June 27th & 28th, and the forecast is looking good. The Navy’s famed Blue Angels are slated to perform their feats of amazing aeronautical acrobatics, there will be lots of equipment on display and some even open to the public, and there are also quite a few vintage WWII airplanes and biplanes of eras gone past that are kept in good running order so they can fly the way they were built to.
The Naval Jets, the Blue Angels, begin flying in to the Quonset Point Airstrip as early as the Thursday before the air show. Generally, all of them have arrived by Friday afternoon, and they can be heard (and felt!) locally as they practice taking off and landing, and flying in formation so they can be prepared for the big show that weekend. It can be a nuisance to a nearby resident such as the author of this article, but, as one woman remarked several years ago: “Let’s remember to be grateful that we have equipment like that in our military, and be grateful that they aren’t dropping bombs on us.” After all, it’s only loud for a little while each day, and it is so thrilling so watch those jets perform.
Recently there has been a great deal of real estate development in the Quonset area, with the latest addition being called The Shops at Quonset Point. This shopping center is located between Route 1 and the national guard base where the air show is held, so visitors will pass by it on their way to the event. The biggest tenant is Kohl’s Department Store. Dave’s MarketPlace, a local supermarket chain, is also located in the shopping center, and has been open for several weeks. The Dave’s MarketPlace down at Quonset is smaller that some of the chain’s other stores, and is geared more towards the upscale shopper who wants to buy deli food or specialty food, then enjoy a cup of coffee in their special café area, but it is a charming place to walk around in and there are many historical pictures hanging on the walls. Around the corner to the left from Kohl’s, as the person points, not as the car drives, is Lowe’s, which has all sorts of esoteric hardware items. There are also plenty of stores along Route 1, or Post Road, if visitors need to get something, or just have the urge to shop.
I myself have not been all the way down to Quonset Point for the air show since I was a young girl. I live so close I can hear almost all the airplanes, and for the past few years I’ve gone down to the North Kingstown Town Beach and watched the Blue Angels from the shore – there aren’t trees obscuring the view down there, and there are not big crowds to deal with. Also, I have bad childhood memories of getting a nasty sunburn and a headache from the noise. It is supposed to be sunny both days for the air show, so if you are going and you are prone to burning, bring lots of sunscreen. The blacktop is good for all that equipment, but it isn’t so good for absorbing the harmful rays of the sun. And of course, don’t forget the camera!
For more information, including directions to the Quonset Air National Guard:
For more information about The Shops at Quonset Point real estate development: