San Francisco Fleet Week is almost upon us. October is fast approaching like a fighter jet, and Fleet Week organizers just dropped more details on us.
The 2023 Air Show line-up will welcome back the famed Blue Angels, the Navy fighter jets that dip and loop their way in unison across the skies of the San Francisco Bay.
"Fat Albert," a Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules that carries the Blue Angels’ maintenance equipment and provides personnel support, is also returning.
A Navy parachute team dubbed “The Leap Frogs,” a United Airlines 777 commercial jet and a demo from a Marine F-35B fighter jet will also be featured at the air show.
The show runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Oct. 6 to Oct. 8 and can be viewed all over San Francisco.
Marina Green is a prime viewing location, a spokesperson for the San Francisco Fleet Week Association said.
Fleet Week fans can also purchase VIP viewing tickets, which range from $125 for assigned box seats on the waterfront up to $395 for Flight Deck Club tickets, which include a full buffet and the option to sit along the waterfront or at umbrella tables in a “club-like setting.”
In addition to the main air show, Fleet Week will include concerts by military and Bay Area high school bands, a dog show and tours of Navy ships along San Francisco’s piers during the week’s festivities, which will happen from Oct. 2-10.
A San Francisco Fleet Week Association spokesperson said Fleet Week is still being planned, with the official schedule slated to be released soon.
The dog show, called K9 Heroes, will be held at Duboce Park on Oct. 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event shows off the abilities of specially trained first responder dogs.
The High School Band Challenge will have Bay Area high school bands go head-to-head at the Golden Gate Park Bandshell to compete for prize money to support their school music programs. The United States Marine Corps 1st Marine Division Band will kick off the event. The winning high school in 2022 was Pittsburg High School, and $30,000 was donated to eight Bay Area high school music programs.
Started in 1981 by then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein to honor sea-based members of the military, Fleet Week has become the country's largest celebration of the United States armed forces, especially the Navy and Coast Guard.
Now seen as a model for other events around the country, it brings in an estimated $10 million in revenue to the city annually.
Visitors and Bay Area locals descend on the city to explore and learn about carriers, cruisers, destroyers and other examples of American military hardware as well as attend concerts, art shows and military-themed educational exhibits.
Garrett Leahy can be reached at email@example.com