The Great State of Maine Air Show will return to Brunswick next month after a three-year hiatus, bringing with it one of the most popular aerial acts in the world.

A spokesman for the show confirmed Wednesday that the U.S. Navy Blue Angels will be the headline act for the show scheduled for Labor Day weekend (Sept. 5-6).

It has been four years since the elite Navy precision formation flying team has flown over the skies of Brunswick and three years since the air show was held at the Brunswick Executive Airport – the former Brunswick Naval Air Station. The Blue Angels were scheduled to perform in Brunswick in 2013, but their appearance and the show were canceled because of federal spending reductions caused by budget sequestration.

The 2015 air show also represents the first time that the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority has hired an outside agency to operate the show. In past years, the authority staged the shows, or the Navy did when the base was fully operational. The last planes left the naval air station in 2009, and the base officially closed May 31, 2011.

“We are not running the air show this year. We contracted with a private company to run the show. We just don’t have the staff or the resources to handle such a big event,” said Steve Levesque, the authority’s executive director. “All we are doing is providing the venue.”

In the past, crowds of up to 40,000 people have attended the air show, which not only features military aircraft and pilots, but civilian stunt pilots. The airport, which is part of a larger development known as Brunswick Landing, features two 8,000-foot-long runways, 650,000 square feet of hangar space and over 103 acres of taxiways and aircraft parking space.

After seeking bids, the authority decided to hire The Air Show Network to recruit acts and manage the Great State of Maine Air Show.

According to its website, The Air Show Network was founded in 1983 and has operated more than 1,000 air shows across the nation. The California-based network not only produces the shows, but provides food concessions and specialized seating, recruits sponsors and provides marketing for the event.

“Absolutely, the Blue Angels will be flying in Brunswick on Labor Day weekend,” Herb Gillen spokesman for the Great State of Maine Air Show, said Wednesday. “For the first time in Maine, the Air Force’s F-22 Raptor will be there. You won’t believe the kind of things the F-22 can do. It can fly backwards. It can hover and it can fly at 90 degree angles. It’s a pretty neat airplane.”

The F-22 Raptor, which is billed as the world’s most advanced fighter aircraft, is highly sought after by air shows and will make only 20 North American appearances in 2015.

Other featured headliners will include the U.S. Marine Corps C-130 “Fat Albert.” a support plane for the Blue Angels that uses jets to assist in takeoffs; the B-25 Panchito, a World War II bomber that was named after a rooster in Disney’s animal musical ‘The Three Caballeros’; and the Smoke-N-Thunder Jet Car, which can travel at speeds of 400 mph. The car shoots 20-foot flames and produces billowing smoke.

In addition, the show will have static displays of rare historical aircraft.

The last Great State of Maine Air Show in 2012 featured the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. The Navy’s Blue Angels last performed in Brunswick in 2011.

Gillen said people interested in attending the show – gates will open at 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 5 – will notice some changes. When the Navy ran the shows admission was free, but that is no longer the case.

People can save a few bucks by purchasing tickets online in advance. General admission will cost $25 per person in advance and $30 (cash) at the gate. Online tickets for youths 17 and younger are $12.50. At the gate, the price will be $15. Children under age 3 get in free.

Reserved seating is also available. Premium box seats, which are near the show’s center performance area, cost $40 while seats in the VIP Flight Line Club cost $125 in advance, or $150 at the gate.

“Ticket sales so far have been strong,” said Gillen. Tickets went on sale in December.

For more information about the performers and scheduled events or to purchase tickets, go to:

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.