Andrews Air Force Base Show Preview

May 12, 2012 6:00 AM

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Andrews Air Show
Joint Base Andrews
Camp Springs, MD
(301) 981-4600

Date: May 19 and 20
Time: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sat and Sun
Price: free

Only the best of the best from all branches of the military will be on display as Andrews Air Force Base celebrates 100 years of Marine Corps aviation. Military air demonstration team highlights include the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor, the Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey and the AV-8B Harrier Jump Jet. Other scheduled events include on-the-ground aircraft displays, family friendly entertainment in airplane hangars, and the Marine Corps Aviation Association Annual Reunion and Symposium. The air show will take place rain or shine, so be prepared for both. The air demonstration schedule may be subject to change depending on the severity of the weather. Air Show attendees may bring their own folding, portable lawn chairs, however backpacks, pets, and outside food and drinks are prohibited.

Click here for Metro information

Parking at Andrews Air Force Base is only available for authorized members of the Department of Defense. Proper identification is required. The general public may park at FedEx Field or at the Branch Avenue Metro Station, where a shuttle bus will run starting at 8 a.m. Foot traffic is not permitted through any gate at Andrews Air Force Base.

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Air Show
Date: May 19 and 20

Throughout the course of the show, military planes and air teams will take to the skies, including the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team, the sharply-choreographed U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and the U.S. Navy Blue Angels as well as civilian air demonstration teams including the Red Bull air team, Geico Skytypers and several warbird acts. Each show features fast-paced, aerobatic maneuvers and showcases the skills and abilities of the nation’s top fighter pilots.

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Joint Services Open House
Date: May 19 and 20

The Air Show will also feature a Joint Services Open House, at which visitors will learn more about the U.S. armed forces, explore the vast array of technology used by the branches of the military as well as meet the service members providing the day’s aerial entertainment.

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Capital Village
Date: May 19 and 20
Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day
Price: $65 adults and teens age 13 and older/$30 kids 6 to 12/free kids younger than 5

Though admission is free, Andrews Air Force Base is offering a new way to experience the air show. The Capital Village’s front-row seats promise perfect views of the air show action. Other amenities include a catered continental breakfast and lunch, light snacks plus complimentary non-alcoholic beverages. The village also features a tent, seating for both dining and watching the air show and specially designated portable restrooms. Visitors who purchase tickets to the Capital Village also receive on-base parking privileges. Tickets purchased after May 11 will not receive on-base parking privileges. Visitors are asked to park their cars either at the Branch Avenue Metro station or FedEx Field. Those who purchase Capital Village tickets must pass a security check before they are provided access to the on-base parking area.

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Max Impact
Hangar III

Date: May 19 and 20

Swing by Hangar III and listen to the official rock n’ roll band of the United States Air Force play classic and current hits, rock, pop and country songs as well as original music and patriotic favorites. Whether at home or overseas, Max Impact and its up-beat musical performance is sure to boost the crowd’s energy throughout the weekend. Other artists performing at Hangar III include up-and-coming country music star Barry Michael and premier D.C. jazz and R&B performer Nancy “Paris” Hines. Click here for a full schedule of show times.

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Silent Drill Platoon
Hangar III

Date: May 19 and 20
Time: 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. each day

Watch members of the U.S. Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon perform a complex, choreographed routine using bayonet-tipped rifles. As the name suggests, the entire routine is performed in silence, with the exception of the tapping sound heard whenever platoon members catch or rotate their rifles. The performance is just a sample of the teamwork, precision and unwavering mutual trust required of these service members every day.

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Swann House
1808 New Hampshire Ave. Northwest
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 265-4414

Price: from $219 to $359

To escape the air base traffic, and turn this into a little D.C. vacation, nothing beats the Swann House. Conveniently close to everything in town, it’s right off of the Metro’s Red Line, which runs to pretty much anywhere in the city. Enjoy a gourmet breakfast, people watching on the porch, sunning on the veranda upstairs or taking a little dip in the pool.

Holiday Inn Express Camp Spring
5001 Mercedes Blvd.
Camp Springs, MD 20746
(301) 423-2323

Price: from $129

Located right off the Beltway and within 1.5 miles from Andrews Air Force Base, the Holiday Inn Express Camp Springs offers a comfortable place to relax before and after the Air Show. All rooms feature a 32-inch flat screen HDTV, free Internet, microwave and refrigerator. Enjoy free parking, a fitness center and tasty breakfast treats, such as cinnamon rolls and pancakes, at the Express Start Breakfast Center. The hotel also offers a complimentary shuttle to Andrews, the Branch Avenue Metro station and the National Harbor as well as local restaurants and shops. Pets are not allowed.

Related: Best Hotels in D.C. on a Budget

Area Dining

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Topolino Italian Cuisine and Buffet
6320 Old Branch Ave.
Camp Springs, MD 20748
(301) 449-6160

From antipasto salads to pizza every Italian dish is delicious at Topolino. Choose from a variety of pasta creations, oven-baked pizzas, house specialties like the topolino trio, which features an eight-ounce Angus-certified filet mignon, crab and shrimp stuffed lobster tail and grilled jumbo shrimp. Pick and choose to your heart’s content at the Italian lunch, brunch and dinner buffets. 

Texas Ribs and BBQ
7701 Old Branch Ave.
Clinton, MD 20735
(301) 877-0323

Texas Ribs overs ribs so good even the president praises them. In March, the president made an unscheduled pit-stop at Texas Ribs and BBQ. He left without a drop of sauce on his clothes because Texas Ribs and BBQ flavors its meat Texas-style with its special dry rub recipe, a delicious blend of herbs and spices. Then, the meat is sent to the smoker where it sits for at least four to six hours, until its nice and tender. The brisket smokes for a full 16 hours. Other delicious treats offered at Texas Ribs and BBQ include soup, chili, sandwiches, salads and seafood.

Related: Best Barbecue in Washington, D.C.

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The Fish Market
7611 Old Branch Ave.
Clinton, MD 20735
(301) 599-7900

For more than 30 years, the Fish Market has served the best seafood, delicious soups and other tasty treats to district area visitors and residents. In addition to a great and varied menu, enjoy live music every Wednesday through Sunday night when the Fish Market owners Rick and Sherry Giovannoni take the stage and perform with the house band. The family friendly entertainment features covers of popular pop, rock and R&B songs, and Sunday nights bring the blues.

Susan Diranian is a freelance writer living in Ashburn, VA. She is covering Travel & Outdoors. Her work can be found at