Highlight of the week in my mind. The ace pilots of the F/A-18 Super Hornets will arrive in town between 11 AM and 1 PM Tuesday, May 24. At 2 PM, they'll do a rehearsal for the main show which is set for the next day at 2 PM.
The jets will also fly over Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium during the graduation ceremony at 10:04 AM.
Please remember that all Blue Angel events are weather dependent.
- Tuesday - Route 450 (Naval Academy Bridge) will be closed from 10:45 AM to 4 PM.
- Wednesday - Route 450 (Naval Academy Bridge) will be closed from 10:45 AM to 4 PM if weather prevents the jets arrival circle Tuesday. Otherwise it will close from 1:45 PM until the end of the flight demonstration (around 4 PM).
Where to watch
Anywhere with a cracking view of the sky above the Annapolis harbor should provide an enjoyable experience. On land suggestions include the World War 2 memorial across the Naval Academy Bridge, dead end streets and parks downtown and in Eastport, and your coolest friend's roof, balcony, or waterfront backyard.
Being on the water is my favorite way to watch the show. Put your own boat in (and do it early), find a friend with a boat (my go-to), or hop on a paddleboard or kayak. Several companies (like Watermark) offer Blue Angels cruises but these sell out hours after they're announced. Remember that for next year.
If you are on the water, there will be restrictions between 9:30 AM and 4 PM on 5/24 and 5/25: No anchoring or boating in the following areas on the Severn River and its tributaries: North of the quick flashing light at the south end of the Naval Academy seawall to Greenbury Point and South for a line marked by the Rt. 450 Severn River Bridge (Naval Academy Bridge). All boats including those tied to private docks are prohibited from navigation in this exclusionary zone.
The controlled areas will be clearly marked and there will be many Coast Guard, DNR, Harbormaster, police, and fire rescue boats on patrol. Follow instructions quickly if they're given. Especially from the scary guys with guns.
Wherever you watch, tag us in your photos!
The graduation ceremony is the last event of Commissioning Week and starts at 10 AM on Friday, May 27. It's held at the Navy football stadium. Stadium gates open at 7 AM for ticket holders. Parking gates open at 6:30 AM.
At 10:04 AM, the Blue Angels will fly over. President Biden is scheduled to give the commencement speech. Hoping to catch a selfie with the prez? You better have tickets. Commencement is not open to the general public.
Tickets are required.
There will be no state employee parking at the stadium Friday. Use the Calvert Street garage instead. Traffic will be extremely heavy around the stadium until around 3 PM.
To mark the end of freshman year, all the plebes will try to climb the Herndon Monument. Atop the 21-foot, granite obelisk is a plebe hat called a dixie cup. The goal: climb the tower, knock off the dixie cup, replace it with a cover—aka upperclassmen's hat. Simple enough. If the seniors hadn't chucked 50 pounds of vegetable shortening all over the thing. Then there's the never ending hose spray. Also compliments of the seniors.
Once the deed is done, the plebes are known as fourth class midshipmen. The Herndon Monument is in front of the Chapel. Enter through Gate 1. The climb starts at 8:30 AM and ends at well... who knows? Class of '72 did in 90 seconds—albeit with no grease. Class of '98 took 4 hours and 5 minutes. To be fair, the dixie cup was taped and glued.
Last year's mids took 3 hours and 41 minutes. Good for the second slowest time ever. And no, the dixie cup was taped or glued.
Parking and traffic
We're not gonna sugarcoat it. Traffic and parking might drive you up a wall this week. Especially with the Hillman Garage out of commission. Please be patient with out-of-town drivers who don't navigate Annapolis' thin streets regularly.
Pro tip #1: reserve garage parking online in advance.
Pro tip #2: park at the Knighton Garage or Park Place and take the free Circulator downtown.
Liquified Creative's Dining Guide
Liquified Creative has served clients in Annapolis since 2007. So they know all the good spots around town. Here's where to chow.
Just over the Eastport Bridge. This fine dining establishment has a dazzling view of downtown Annapolis, our harbor, and the Naval Academy. Be sure to make a reservation ASAP. That view makes it one of the most popular restaurants around.
300 Second Street, Annapolis, MD 21403
Carpaccio Tuscan Kitchen & Wine Bar
Located next door to the Westin on West Street. Say that 5 times fast. Some of the best Italian food in the area. Scoop's pick: get the scallops casino style.
1 Park Place, Annapolis, MD 21401
Light House Bistro
Nestled in the center of West Street. Light House Bistro serves up polished American cuisine for breakfast and lunch. It was created in partnership with local nonprofit, The Light House, to give people with employment barriers the opportunity to learn skills, develop a resume, and earn a living wage.
202 West Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
Sailor Oyster Bar (AKA SOB)
Right next to Light House Bistro. You really just have to see this one to believe it. They don't have a kitchen. But Sailor sells some of the best seafood in town. Local's tip: check their Instagram for daily specials. We gave Sailor a coveted Scoop last time we reviewed it. Read the full review.
196 West Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
Bread & Butter Kitchen
A personal favorite of Liquified Creative and Naptown Scoop—although Liquified's office is a whole lot closer and I'm jealous. This small but might café has fresh and delicious options for breakfast and lunch daily. And the views are almost as good as Chart House. Which makes sense considering they're neighbors.
303 Second Street Unit A, Annapolis, MD 21403
Chick & Ruth's Delly
An Annapolis staple located in the thick of it all on Main Street. Chick & Ruth's has just about everything you could want. For the daring, try the Man vs. Food challenge—a 6 pound milkshake coupled with a 3 pound burger!
165 Main Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
Pusser's Caribbean Grill
British Virgin Islands-inspired waterfront restaurant & bar on Annapolis's famous Ego Alley. Pusser's is the quintessential Annapolis experience. You cannot come here without getting a painkiller.
80 Compromise Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
A cornerstone of Annapolis down by City Dock. McGarvey's offers fresh seafood, a friendly old school atmosphere, and an unforgettable experience.
8 Market Space, Annapolis, MD 21401
Dinner Under the Stars
A dining experience unlike any other. Every Wednesday and Saturday, part of West Street shuts down and turns into a beautiful outdoor dining scene. Have a backup plan in case of inclement weather! Participating restaurants: Rams Head Tavern, Luna Blu, Tsunami Sushi Bar & Lounge, Stan & Joe's Saloon, and 49 West Coffeehouse, Winebar and Gallery.
Liquified Creative's Entertainment Guide
There's plenty of fun to be had when you're not watching the best pilots in the world flying 18 inches apart or a bunch of plebes climb an oiled up obelisk.
Rams Head On Stage
The premier concert venue in Annapolis. This intimate venue hosts everyone from the local street musicians to national acts. Don't miss the Wallflowers on May 24. Here's the show calendar.
33 West Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
GameOn Bar + Arcade
Be sure to swing by Annapolis's newest entertainment emporium, complete with vintage games like pinball, Pac-Man, Skeeball, and more!
114 West Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
Mission Escape Rooms
Do you have what it takes to escape? Mission Escape Rooms tests your group's ability to work together solving clues and puzzles to get out of a locked room!
40 West Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
Annapolis Maritime Museum
Learn about our rich maritime history and the ecology of our beloved Chesapeake Bay. You can also book a ride on the historic Wilma Lee—one of just 23 skipjacks still sailing the Bay!
723 Second Street, Annapolis, MD 21403
Quiet Waters Park
Explore 340 acres of nature including trails, playgrounds, and pavilions that are perfect for a picnic. Quiet Waters Park is open 7 days a week from 7 AM to dusk and there's a $6 entry fee (cash only).
600 Quiet Waters Park Road, Annapolis, MD 21403
Located just off Church Circle. This museum is dedicated to documenting, interpreting, and promoting African-American history and culture in Maryland.
84 Franklin Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
William Paca House and Garden
Built by one of Maryland's four signers of the Declaration of Independence. This restored 18th-century mansion provides insight into the inner workings of an upper class household in colonial Annapolis. And wait until you see the garden. It's absolutely gorgeous.
186 Prince George Street, Annapolis, Md 21401
Everyone knows about Main Street. But you can't miss Maryland Avenue. It's a street full of hidden gems right off state circle. Don't miss Mango + Main, Old Fox Books, or Galway Bay!
Graduation only lasts a couple hours. But if you do it right, the memories you make during Commissioning Week will last a lifetime.