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'It's a big deal:' Blue Angels serve as grand finale of air show

Blue Angels
Posted at 7:24 PM, Aug 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-14 13:37:26-04

The Blue Angels concluded the Yellowstone International Air Show on Sunday, and nearly 15,000 spectators from all over the country were in attendance.

This weekend marked the first time in 32 years that the Blue Angels had flown over the Magic City, so for many spectators, like Bob Rademacher, it was the first time they had seen the air crafts in person.

"We've never been to one," Rademacher said on Sunday afternoon. "I've heard a lot about them and I've always wanted to see an air show. My brother went to one in Helena and said it would be worth it so that kind of pushed us into it."

The 70-year-old Rademacher and his family made the quick trip from Roundup for the show, and he said the additional crowd was noticeable and proved just how unique the experience was.


"This is all family I came with, so it's kind of a family deal," Rademacher said. "It's a big deal. It's kind of too bad that they had to do it during the fair, but I think it's probably great for the city."

Florida resident Sue Eldridge was another in attendance that had never witnessed an air show of that magnitude firsthand.

"I've never actually been to a performance," Eldridge said. "I've seen them taking off everyday from our backyard, but to be able to come up here and see the whole performance is exciting."

Eldridge spends her summers in Billings, and said that at first, she feared if the city could handle such a large event.


"I had no idea there was a facility like this where you would be able to do it," Eldridge said. "It's great to see all of these people here and the facility is gorgeous. It's a perfect place to watch."

Eldridge said the city she's fallen in love with proved to be more than up for the task, and that the event exceeded her expectations.

"There are so many things to do in Billings in the summertime, and this is kind of just the frosting on the cake," Eldridge said. "It's thrilling and kind of makes you feel patriotic."

Rademacher echoed her appreciation and said that the event made the crowd worthwhile.

"We're enjoying it and having a great time," Rademacher said. "I'd like to thank everyone involved. They put on a great show."

Blue Angels