Look! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a Blue Angel!

Residents of Biloxi and the surrounding area will be hearing more and more of the Navy’s Blue Angels today and Friday as the precision flying team prepares for its show this weekend, the centerpiece of the Keesler Air Show and Open House.

One of the team’s six F/A-18 Hornets was roaring and soaring over the skies of Biloxi this afternoon, providing flights for media and others.

“You’re going to hear them rehearsing Friday, and ramping up for the shows Saturday and Sunday,” said Keesler spokesman Jerry Taranto.

Keesler will mark its 70th anniversary with the show and open house, which it’s dubbing “Angels Over the Bay.” A host of other performing and display aircraft — about 50 in all — will be part of the free two-day affair at the base, which will be open to the public at 9 a.m. each day.

The event is expected to attract as many as 100,000 visitors over two days.

For the base, it will be a chance to celebrate its long relationship with Biloxi and the surrounding communities.

“We value our strong partnership with the community, and we are honored by the patriotism and strong support that our men and women see on a daily basis,” Taranto said. “This year’s air show and open house will celebrate 70 years of rich heritage, dedication and service.

“This is our gift to the community and it will have something for everyone — a chance to see vintage and modern military and commercial aircraft, helicopters, tanks and simulators, and you’ll actually be able to go inside the cockpits of the planes and meet the pilots in many cases.”

Of course, the big drawing card is the Navy’s Blue Angels. The team last performed at Keesler in 1978, and this year, Keesler is one of only 38 show sites to host the team of six F/A-18 Hornets.

Coast Transit will provide free shuttle service from Edgewater Mall Saturday and Sunday from 9 to 11 a.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. The service will be available at the CTA stop south of the mall parking garage. Shuttle service also will be available at base housing off Bayview Avenue, west of I-110. No pedestrian traffic will be allowed through Keesler’s gates, and those traveling on shuttles will be subject to search once they arrive at the show.

Your guide to the air show: Keesler has assembled an online guide to help you enjoy this year’s show — including maps, schedules, photos, and other information. To see your guide,
click here.

News and notes

Bud-Weis-Ohr: The Budweiser Clydesdales will be at the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art today afrom 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and the museum will offer free admission to the galleries during the visit, which is being billed as “Bud Weis Ohr.” Visit the museum online by clicking here.

Flood week: Mississippi averages almost 60 inches of rain each year, and 30 of the 42 Presidential disaster declarations in the state since 1978 have been for flooding. Gov. Haley Barbour has declared this week as Flood Awareness Week, and MEMA is joining with the city in asking property owners to consider their risk from flooding and to purchase flood insurance, regardless of where they live. To see the city’s flood-prone areas and how the zone has grown since Katrina, click here.

A league of their own: Do you have a child who is mentally or physically challenged and wants to play organized sports? The city’s Challenger League is the answer, and baseball season begins soon. To find out more, click here.