The U.S. Navy’s flight demonstration squadron, the Blue Angels, are a national treasure. The sleek blue jets with yellow trim are impressive on the ground. When they take to the skies, it is nothing short of magical. Performing aerial feats that demonstrate the precision and skill of these uber talented pilots, the Blue Angels delight crowds at air shows across the nation. In 2014 they are expected to perform before 15 million spectators.
This past week, the Blue Angels returned to their home base in Pensacola and performed before the hometown crowd at the Pensacola Beach Air Show. The main performance took place on Saturday and early estimates indicate it drew record numbers to the beach. Fans lined the shore, filled hotels and condos, and anchored boats in the Santa Rosa Sound and other nearby waters to watch the show. From any vantage point, the Blues are a must-see attraction.
For families with young children, watching the Blue Angels earlier in the week is a good option as the traffic and crowds are lighter. They perform a “Breakfast with the Blues” warm up session on Wednesday prior to the show, and a dress rehearsal on Friday. A friend who attended Breakfast with the Blues this year with her two children told me she didn’t know why she had waited for the Saturday show in the past. The mid-week morning experience was ideal for her family.
If you missed them this time around, the Blue Angels are performing almost every weekend between now and November at air shows in Chicago, Cleveland, Memphis, Houston, San Francisco and many other locations. They culminate the season back at Naval Air Station Pensacola with the Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show, Nov. 7-9.
This photo was taken a few miles away from the beach in Gulf Breeze, Florida, and doesn’t do justice to the true spectacle you’ll experience at a Blue Angels show. The Pensacola News Journal has a fantastic gallery of photos from this weekend’s beach show at PNJ.com.