Where and when to see the Red Arrows and The Blades in Somerset this weekend

After a three year absence the famous Weston Air Festival is back this weekend with the Red Arrows set to put on a show for tens of thousands of people.

The free event takes place in the skies over the Somerset seaside resort and people in the town are hoping it’ll give the area a big boost.

Around 200,000 people are expected to attend to enjoy air displays, flights and entertainment. There will be a display of helicopters on the beach lawns, an armed forces arena, fun fair, simulators, and trade stands.

Weston Air Festival started as a one-day show before becoming a whole weekend event on Weston Seafront in 2014. The event usually marks Armed Forces Day, as it will this year.

The event is organised by North Somerset Council, Weston Super Mare Town Council and Culture Weston.

North Somerset councillor, Mark Canniford, said it was great to welcome people back to the town after the Covid pandemic led to cancellations of major events: "Messages that we were giving out back then were 'please don't visit' and now the messages very clearly 'come and enjoy Weston-Super-Mare'," he said.

"We've got lots going on here and also enjoy the town - there's so much more going on in Weston these days and if you get a chance go and have a look, go and see what's happening because Weston has got a buzz about it again and it's exciting times."

Weston Air Festival hasn't been held in the town since 2019

That’s certainly what businesses in the town hope will happen. With a growing number of independent shops all keen to capitalise on the huge numbers expected to come.

Abi Ewles runs a shop called Vintage Abs, and said: "We've actually had quite a few people this week come into the shop that are really excited about the festival and they've travelled specifically to Weston to come and see it.

"It's going to increase footfall, which is brilliant for small, independent businesses like myself. It's a really exciting event and it's just a great couple of days for everyone to enjoy."

Paul Batts owns Outdoors & Active and is the chair of the town's Business Improvement District. He said: "Weston’s really good at putting on big events, but also there's a great back story to Weston.

"There's loads of great independent businesses and here, in areas like Orchard Meadows, we want people to come and discover some of those independent businesses and also have a great day at the coast."

When can I see displays?

Weston Air Festival takes place on the weekend of 25-26 June. Here are the displays you can expect to see:

Great War Display Team: This group of highly experienced pilots display replica World War One aircraft, exactly how they were flown during the Great War over the trenches of Northern France and Belgium. Saturday 1pm-2pm & Sunday 12pm-1pm

Yakovlev Yak-3: The Yakovlev Yak-3 is a single-engine, single-seat World War II Soviet fighter. One of the smallest and lightest combat fighters, it produced an excellent performance and proved to be a formidable dogfighter. Saturday 1pm-2pm & Sunday 2pm-3pm

RAF Tutor T1: The Grob 115E, known as the Tutor T.Mk 1 in RAF service, was built and equipped especially for the RAF in Bavaria, Germany between 1999 and 2002. Saturday 1pm-2pm & Sunday 4pm-5pm

Cheeky Champ Display: The Cheeky Champ demonstration will display for the first year at the event, towing its 550ft colourful ribbon across the skies. Saturday & Sunday 1pm-2pm

Airborne Pyrotechnics - Grob 109B: The Grob 109b was built in Germany. It flies with multicoloured smoke trailing from the wings, providing a graceful display of aerobatics. Although it has an engine, once airborne the engine can be turned off, the propellor feathered and the aircraft becomes a conventional glider using thermals to soar. Saturday 2pm-3pm

Calidus Autogyro: The innovative Calidus is unique and groundbreaking in design and engineering. This lightweight, two-seat aircraft was designed to take in scenery to the maximum from its transparent cockpit. Saturday & Sunday 2pm-3pm

Aerosuperbatics Wingwalkers: The world-renowned Aerosuperbatics Wingwalkers has performed in over 20 countries with their breathtaking acrobatics and handstands and they are flying into Weston-super-Mare this year. Saturday & Sunday 2pm-3pm

Pitts Special S1-S: Australian born Ian Smith brings his Platinum Jubilee inspired Red, White and Blue to Weston for the first time. This is also Ian’s display season, putting the Pitts through its paces and using his 600+ hours of aerobatics flying to good use. The Pitts Special is purpose-designed Aerobatic Bi-Plane, first developed in the mid-1940s and has been a favourite in the Aerobatics world ever since. Saturday & Sunday 2pm-3pm

Battle of Britain Memorial Flight: The Flight is a symbol of the Royal Air Force’s finest hour. The Hurricane and Spitfire are two of the most iconic aircraft in world aviation history. Saturday 3pm-4pm & Sunday 1pm-2pm

The Gazelle Squadron: A 4 aircraft flying display, with four five-seat helicopters developed for light transport, training, and light attack duties flying in unison. Saturday & Sunday 3pm-4pm

Team Raven: Team Raven is a formation aerobatic display team flying self-build RV8 aircraft, painting shapes across the skies in their wake. Saturday & Sunday 3pm-4pm

Slingsby T67 Firefly: A two-seat aerobatic training aircraft, built by Slingsby Aviation in Kirkbymoorside in Yorkshire, utilised as a training aircraft by multiple air forces for three decades. Saturday 4pm-5pm & Sunday 1pm-2pm

The Blades: The Blades are a leading display team, world-famous for flying close-formation aerobatics to the highest level. Saturday 4pm-5pm & Sunday 12pm-1pm

RAF Red Arrows The iconic Red Arrows return to the Weston Air Festival to close on Sunday. Flying their distinctive bright red Hawk fast-jets the team is made up of the finest talent from across the service and together they demonstrate the finest the Royal Air Force has to offer. Sunday 4pm-5pm