Moore: The Quonset Air Show Is Overly Crowded, Hellishly Loud, and All-Around Miserable

A sea of people at the Quonset Air Show, sweaty from being packed in, broke from being price gouged, and going deaf from the maddening noise.

I was one of the seemingly tens of thousands of people who made my way down to the Quonset Air Show this weekend. And boy, do I regret it! 

My previous experience with the air show was about 15 years or so ago. At that point, there was no Interlink at the T.F. Green airport. So that meant I sat in roughly two hours of traffic to make it into the air show. 

I was told that the show has grown in popularity over the years. So that meant I was simply never going to bother going back. 

This is awesome–for a half hour. But doesn’t it get boring after 3 hours?

However, this weekend, I was seduced by the fact that the Interlink was offering free parking, and the trains were offering free rides to the air show. I figured that the service from the airport in Warwick into Quonset would make the travel into it relatively painless. Furthermore, the weather today was forecast at a high of 75 degrees on Sunday. That, I thought, would make it a great day to be outside. 

The DOT only ran three trains from Warwick to Quonset and back, so the train was packed–uncomfortably so.

What a disastrous miscalculation that was! 

For some reason, it took the trains 45 minutes to get from Warwick to Quonset. I could have gotten there faster by my own car (on a day with regular traffic). I was silly enough to assume that traveling by train was faster than car. I forgot, however, that this is Rhode Island, where down is up and…you get the idea. 

During the ridiculously crowded train rides there and back–the trains only ran from Green to Quonset three times all day–there was always at least 3 toddlers or babies screaming at the tops of their lungs. How pleasant. 

The airplanes were cool, I guess.

Once my friend and I arrived there, we had to walk about a mile, in the dirty sand, no less, to make it to the main viewing area. There had to be tens of thousands of people there. I’ve seen less density inside a can of sardines. 

Back to the weather. It was supposedly a picturesque day, at least as far as temperature was concerned. But I still managed to feel uncomfortably hot the whole day long–most likely due to the density. 

They were supposedly going to be food and drinks there. And of course there was. The wrinkle, however, was that there was going to be some serious price gouging. Would you like a hot dog? That’s $6. A Del’s Lemonade to wash that down? Well, you see, that’s $5. 

Do you like being price gouged and taken advantage of? Yeah? The Quonset Air Show is the place for you.

And despite the fact that there was ridiculous greed from the food vendors, there still managed to be horrific lines at the food stands/trucks all day. 

The planes were cool. I guess. But pardon me, but if I see airplanes doing cool tricks for 15 minutes, that’s enough. Do I really need to see 5 hours of that? I don’t. Apparently I’m in the super vast minority. What else is new? 

Photographers with expensive cameras tend to like the Quonset Air Show. A little too much, actually.

Lastly, if I thought the children on the train were loud, they were no match for these airplanes. I’m a rock music fan, so I can handle high decibels. Well, not here. The noise level was obnoxious. 

About an hour after I arrived, I couldn’t wait to leave. The big problem was my train didn’t arrive until 2 hours later. Even though I made it to the train station an hour before it arrived, I was still afraid there wouldn’t be room for me on it thanks to the massive crowd already assembled. 

I wanted so badly to get into this plane and fly away from the excessive noise, crowds, and prices.

Thank Heavens there was. I was never so happy to get onto public transportation. The 45-minute ride back felt like 3 hours. But getting back was a MASSIVE relief. 

I hope everyone else had fun at the air show! See you there next year, Quonset! 

Russell Moore
Russell J. Moore is the publisher and founder of He’s been writing about Rhode Island since 2005. You should definitely follow him on twitter @russmoore713. If you want to send him email, you can send it to


  1. You are an entitled asshat! It’s free and proceeds go to a great cause. Quit complaining and don’t go. Do is all the favor and go to your “safe space” or “cry closet”

  2. “It was too loud”

    There were free earplugs at each entrance.

    “It was too crowded”

    There were a lot of people because its a free event but its also a huge area, you could easily walk around without bumping into anyone.

    “The sand was dirty”

    I do so hope none got in your vagina.

  3. I apologize that the sand was dirty. I will bring that up for next years airshow. Maybe we can spend some of your tax dollars and send a few airmen out there to hand wash the sand until it is clean.
    I am sorry that you thought you had to stay for the entire show also. Moving forward we will post signs stating that there is a 15 minute maximum time limit to enjoy the airshow.
    Also, you are correct in thinking that the planes are too loud. Technological advancements has made ALL aircrafts made since 1994 virtually silent. We actually retrofit speakers onto the aircrafts to make them loud cuz it’s cool. You know, like a baseball card in the spokes of a bicycle. If the concern is that it was too loud for you might I suggest a more quiet activity for you? Like staying home and sitting in your kitchen.
    Also we will be banning all children from future events. We have considered this for years now and your article has only reaffirmed our suspicions that children just aren’t welcomed.
    Some people say that your articles are garbage and that you are a third rate writer trying to make a name for himself in journalism. Some say that your writing style is as outdated as the dark and self pitying alternative music of the mid 90’s such as linkin park or limp bizket. Some say they are right.

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