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San Francisco’s first official Fleet Week was in October 1981, coinciding with Columbus Day celebrations throughout the city. Today, highlights of the events such as an art exhibition, Navy Band performances, and the Parade of War Ships. But the feather in the cap goes to the United States Navy Blue Angels as they rehearse their aerial acrobatics in F/A-18 Hornet aircraft for the official air show on 10/12 and 10/13.
During this time, the city growls with the distant thunder of the F/A-18 Hornets. Glimpses of the Angels can be seen through mid-morning fog banks as the pilots strut their stuff. Tight formation and perfectly synchronized rolls and dives delight onlookers from view spots around the city. Some fans will pay as much as $60 to watch the main show from the Marina Green, but more distant peaks in San Francisco and Oakland give views of the Angels over the city skyline that are truly stunning.
In 2013, Federal sequestration cuts led to the cancelation of Fleet Week celebrations. The City of San Francisco mourned the loss of the celebration as well as the loss of revenue. According to SF Supervisor Mark Farrell. “It’s a great chance to attract visitors. The estimates are $65 million in economic activity.” But 2014 will give San Franciscans the opportunity to celebrate as the Blue Angels soar above the city once more.
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