‘Welcome back:’ NAS Pensacola welcomes packed crowd for the start of seven-day access

Published: May. 17, 2023 at 3:09 PM CDT
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PENSACOLA, Fla. (WALA) - “Thank you and welcome back.”

For the Pensacola community, that’s music to their ears as visitors wasted no time getting back on-board NAS Pensacola.

“In a way it’s kind of a home away from home, but it’s home,” said Jeff Hamilton.

Some visitors from out of town were excited to see the museum for themselves after hearing about it for so many years.

“My grandfather has been here before and he’s told me how awesome it is and how he wishes I could go,” said Patrick Stipanov. “So far, I’m seeing more than I’ve ever seen before. There’s quite a bite here. I love it.”

Others had some special reasons for being at the reopening.

“My dad volunteered here at the museum for a number of years and to be able to come back and be part of it again is amazing,” said Donna Governor.

But everyone’s favorite part was heading out to the flight line. Because nothing says welcome back like watching the Blue Angels practice.

“When in Pensacola this is exactly what you do,” said Lorraine Ramirez. “You come in and you watch the Blue Angels practice because it is so impressive.”

For about 40 minutes, the Blues took to the skies in front of a packed crowd before signing autographs and taking pictures with fans new and old. Leaving everyone with good memories and some already planning their next trip.

“I’m actually going to go talk to someone about volunteering and continuing my dad’s legacy,” added Governor.

Base access goes from 9:00-3:00 each day and will give people access to the National Naval Aviation Museum, Barrancas National Cemetery and the Pensacola Lighthouse. Visitors will need to go through the west gate on Blue Angel Parkway and must have a Real ID compliant ID.