(August 2012 Blue Angels view from Alki, photographed by Les Crimmins)
This morning, Seafair says it’s official – no Blue Angels this year, because of federal budget cuts. Here’s the announcement the festival posted minutes ago on Facebook:
Today we were officially informed by the US Navy Blue Angels that their season has been cancelled, including the Seafair performance, due to Federal Budget Cuts resulting from sequestration. The Blue Angels have flown at Seafair for over 40 years and are an important part of our history. The team will be deeply missed by Seattleites, however Seafair will continue in its traditional fashion. The Patriots Jet Team, which we previously announced, will now assume the lead spot in our world-class air show. The six-ship aerobatic team electrifies spectators with fast-paced formation flying, choreographed four-ship diamond formation aerobatic maneuvers and are highlighted by a computerized red, white and blue smoke system. Many of the pilots include past experience with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, U.S.A.F. Thunderbirds and Royal Canadian Air Force.
In addition to the air show, Seafair Weekend will include H1 Unlimited hydroplane racing, F1 PROP Tour boat racing, a vintage hydroplane exhibition, a wakeboard competition featuring the top athletes in the sport, live music and activities such as a zip line and water slide. Seafair Weekend, and the Seafair festival overall, has evolved over the years. It is a festival with many facets – an eight week celebration that includes over 75 events and reaches nearly two million people.
We’re grateful for the support of our fans, volunteers, sponsors and beyond. Together, we’ve connected and celebrated as a community for the last 64 summers. We look forward to carrying on this long-standing tradition.
The last time Seafair went without the Blue Angels was in 1995, because of a conflict over FAA rules. They came back in 1996 and flew over Elliott Bay – we remember watching from Hamilton Viewpoint – before the Lake Washington concerns were worked out.