• Blue Angels: A San Francisco Treat

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    As AAO 2019 approaches, consider this both an invitation as well as a “heads up” notification: The Blue Angels will be flying overhead during our meeting.

    San Francisco Fleet Week, scheduled this year for Oct. 6 to 14, features the Blue Angels, entertaining big crowds and creating massive traffic jams. This year, our annual meeting is yet one additional attraction! While you are here, you and guests will delight in the Blue Angels Shows. The sky’s literally the limit!

    The Blue Angels are one of the world’s premier flight demonstration squadrons, serving a specific mission “to showcase the pride and professionalism of the United States Navy and Marine Corps by inspiring a culture of excellence and service to country through flight demonstrations and community outreach.” In San Francisco, the Blue Angels attract more than a million spectators. Across the country, their shows run from March through October.

    Created in 1946, the squadron once featured propeller plane F6F Hellcats. These days, six F/A Hornets fill the sky at speeds of up to 700 mph and at decibel levels that are envied even by Harley Davidson owners. The only modifications from the combat-ready models are the iconic blue and yellow paint job and replacing weapons with a tank for decorative smoke oil.

    Fortunately, the repertoire for this precision team can accommodate even the unpredictable Bay Area fog, with choreographed and well-rehearsed “high,” “low” and “flat” shows. Shows in San Francisco are particularly impressive, with the bay providing the location for stunts and the hills providing ample viewing venues.

    How will this impact you during your visit?

    • Practice sessions will be held Thursday and Friday afternoons. Start times may vary. The roar of the jets will let you know when they start. Practice sessions are terrific for viewing, because the crowds get exponentially bigger for expanded activities on Saturday and Sunday.
    • Streets in prime viewing areas along the waterfront are jam-packed on Saturday and Sunday. This will be a major issue for those of you staying near Fisherman’s Wharf. The most efficient travel mode will be walking, as shuttles will not have any special access.
    • Although the location for the event is officially listed as the Marina Green, the entire northern waterfront of San Francisco is really best for viewing. By all means, if you have access to a boat, that surely would be even better! Note, if you captain the boat, there are specific channels where no boat traffic is allowed.
    • Finally, there are other entertainment options for you this week. On Sunday, the annual Columbus Day parade occurs in North Beach. Where Mardi Gras parades offer doubloons as “throws,” this parade features garlic candy. Columbus and Stockton Streets are blocked off, creating more traffic snarls. The activity centered around Washington Square includes ample opportunity to feast on Italian treats.

    Sadly, the likelihood of the San Francisco Giants playing in the World Series is about as remote as an opportunity for you to take a ride with the Blue Angels!

    And, of course, the best activities will be in Moscone Convention Center!