The Blue Angels have cancelled their season, including a Seafair show in Seattle due to budget cuts at the federal level.
UPDATE - Blue Angels cancel season, Seafair included
Navy also cancels ship visits for Seafair Fleet Weeks
UPDATE 5:30 p.m. April 9
Seafair shared this announcement on April 9. The Navy has cancelled the Blue Angels performance because "of the current Defense policy, which states that outreach events can only be supported with local assets at no cost to the government." Ship visits have also been cancelled. Below are press releases explaining both decisions:
NAVY CANCELS SHIP VISITS AT 2013 PORTLAND ROSE FESTIVAL AND SEATTLE SEAFAIR FLEET WEEKS
The Navy announced on April 9 the cancellation of ship visits during the annual Portland Rose Festival Fleet Week and Seattle Seafair Fleet Week. This step is in addition to the earlier announcement by the Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, to cancel their remaining 2013 performances, including events at Seattle Seafair Fleet Week and in Hillsboro, Ore.
Budget shortfalls due to sequestration are forcing the Navy and other military services to cut back on formal community outreach programs in 2013.
"We appreciate the community's understanding during these uncertain budgetary times," said Rear Adm. Mark Rich, Commander Navy Region Northwest. "We will continue to find ways to engage locally, in keeping with Department of Defense guidance. We are thankful for what Seattle, Portland, and our community partners do to support our service men and women every day and look forward to continuing to work with those partners now, and in the future."
Cancelling domestic ship visits is one of many steps the Navy is taking to ensure resources are in place to prioritize and support forces operating forward now, those training to relieve them, and continuing maintenance of the Navy's fleet and aircraft.
The Navy believes there is value in demonstrating the capabilities of our ships and aircraft, thus inspiring future generations of Sailors and Marines. The Navy intends to continue Fleet Weeks in the future as the budget situation permits.
Media seeking further information should contact Navy Region Northwest Public Affairs at 360-396-1630.
Seafair shared this announcement on April 9. The Navy has cancelled the Blue Angels performance because "of the current Defense policy, which states that outreach events can only be supported with local assets at no cost to the government."
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.