Wings Over Wayne Air Show Returns

Wings Over Wayne Air Show Returns

The wait is over! After four years, the sound of freedom will once again be celebrated and demonstrated with the return of the Wings Over Wayne Air Show, the largest air show in the state of North Carolina. The event is set to take place at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro on May 20-21, 2023, and will feature performances by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. Admission and parking are free and gates open at 8 a.m. to the public. Attendees will have access to free drinking water, while additional concessions and souvenirs will be available for purchase. There will be plenty to see and experience on the ground before the grand opening ceremony kicks off at 10 a.m. The flying performances will take place between 11 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., weather permitting.

The last Wings Over Wayne Air Show took place in 2019, was headlined the U.S.Air Force Thunderbirds, and generated $6.4 million of economic impact into the local and regional economy. Less than a year after the 2019 air show, the outbreak of COVID-19 disrupted the world. The scheduled 2021 Wings Over Wayne Air Show was canceled due to the ongoing public health crisis. Then the 2022 air show was postponed due to the logistical strain on the servicemembers stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base to plan the event and secure air demonstration teams, who were working to fulfill previously cancelled airshows.

“We are excited to be opening our gates to the public for our 2023 Wings Over Wayne Air, Space, and Technology Expo!,” said Major Nathan “CLIFF” Johnson, director of the 2023 Wings Over Wayne Air Show. Historically, the event takes place every other year on odd-numbered years with a new air show director that selects a mission statement to focus the efforts and objective of the air show. “Our theme, “First in Flight, First to Fight,” connects our historical roots here in North Carolina to our rich heritage beginning with WWII and each conflict since to our ongoing combat airpower capabilities now.

Spectators will experience the finest air power in the world this May. “Our show will feature the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels as well as world-class civilian aerobatics, “Johnson said. “There will be an extensive combat scenario with our Combined Arms Demonstration and large pyrotechnics display with the Tora! Tora! Tora! performers. We also have some new and different things planned, like Third Strike Wingwalkers and Manfred Radius’ aerobatic glider.”

In addition to the aerial performances, Wings Over Wayne offers plenty of family-fun entertainment on the ground with static displays of military drill demonstrations and current and heritage aircraft, such as the Spitfire, Swamp Fox, F-22, F-35A, F-35B, the native F-15E Strike Eagle, and so much more. Explore the full listing of ground and aerial performances at

For the first time in Wings Over Wayne history, the event will include a STEM Hangar for kids and adults alike. The STEM Hangar will feature exhibitors in science, technology, engineering and math from across the country. G-Force Robotics is helping to organize this educational and hands-on event with a large emphasis on robotics and virtual reality. Displays from government, industry, education, entertainment and defense will be curated inside a 40,000 sq. ft. hangar.

“We’re also very excited about our STEM hangar that will include over 30 activities like virtual reality and robotics,” Johnson said. “From the kids’ zone to the 500 knot fast jets to

the Extreme Exotics sports car rides down the runway, there’s sure to be something exhilarating and inspiring for the whole family.”

While admission and parking are free, Attendees can elevate their air show experience by purchasing tickets to other exciting options. Kid Zone tickets are available online and on the day of the event for $10. Tickets will include access to Blue Angel’s- themed bounce slides, trampolines, and obstacle courses.

The successful addition of the Beer Garden to the 2019 Wings Over Wayne Air Show will also return. The Beer Garden will be located right on the flight line and will include craft and commercial beverages. Tickets for the Beer Garden can be purchased in advance online or at the event starting at $40/person. The ticket price includes seating, optimal viewing of the show, shaded areas, and exclusive beer stations. Beer purchases are not included in the ticket price. Guests of the Beer Garden must be at least 21 years of age and kids are not allowed in the area.

In 2017, the Wings Over Wayne Air Show was honored as “Event of the Year,” which is the most prestigious award given by the N.C. Association of Festivals & Events. When deciding the winner, the judges announced that the Wings Over Wayne Air Show was “chosen for their community partnership and the survey of the attendees.” The air show surpassed the efforts of past years, setting new records for funding raised, volunteer participation, and the attendance for the two-day event.

Other tips and helpful points of information include checking out the prohibited items list on the event website at Guests of the show are allowed to bring clear reusable water bottles less than 32 oz. and factory-sealed water to the show. Free potable water stations will be located throughout the public areas of the event. Lawn/tailgating chairs are also permitted. The event and parking are free, yet food, beverages, and souvenirs are available for purchase at the show. Credit cards will be accepted by the concessionaire, but the event staff encourage folks to bring cash as a precaution.