Seafair officials confirmed today that the Navy’s Blue Angels will not be appearing in Seattle this year.
The word comes several weeks after the Navy said appearances in Seattle and elsewhere around the country could fall victim to the federal “sequestration” budget cuts.
Last week, it was widely reported that the Pensacola-based Blue Angels team had been “instructed to cease” practices, and that shows early in this year’s schedule had been canceled.
Late last month, when the absence of the Blue Angels appeared likely, Seafair officials said that even without the popular Navy team, fans would see a precision-flying team at this summer’s Seafair.
The Patriots Jet Team, a civilian-owned precision aerobatics team based in California, has been signed to appear at the Seattle festival the first weekend in August. The Patriots performed at Seafair in 2007 and 2008, and have appeared at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Air Expo.
See the Patriots Jet Team in action here.
Seafair posted this announcement to fans on its web site:
Today we were officially informed by the U.S. 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.