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Despite the traffic warnings and predictions earlier this week of possible cool weather, the throngs of joy-seekers flooding into San Francisco on Saturday seemed to enjoy the rainbow of activities offered citywide from airplanes to jazz, from baseball to yachting. Monte Francis and Stephanie Chuang report.
Despite the traffic warnings and predictions earlier this week of possible cool weather, the throngs of joy-seekers flooding into San Francisco on Saturday seemed to enjoy the rainbow of activities offered citywide from airplanes to jazz, from baseball to yachting.
The weather held out, reaching temperatures in the high 60s, and traffic was busy near the event sites, but many said that inside the city of San Francisco, pretty much all was quiet - even quieter than usual.
Scott Anthony, 49, drove into San Francisco from San Jose on Friday night and slept over at a friend's to avoid the traffic. He was one of thousands having a blast watching Fleet Week airplanes do acrobatic tricks along the Marina Green. He had no complaints.
“It’s great, good weather and viewing," he said. "The crowds are moderate, not too bad.”
And Madeline Mrakava said watching the Blue Angels air show made her "proud to be an American and proud to be a San Franciscan."
Those were similar sentiments held by Gayle Gough of San Francisco. “The skill, it’s amazing what these pilots do, and it also makes you feel a bit patriotic, it’s wonderful.”
While many from outside San Francisco drove and took BART and other modes of transportation to see the Parade of Ships and fighter jets of Fleet Week , the free bluegrass festival about five miles away seemed to be a mostly local affair.
Of the nearly quarter million people expected to attend the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival, first founded by the late billionaire Warren Hellman in Golden Gate Park, many seemed to live in San Francisco. Most folks seemed to head into the park by bike or feet, and hardly any complained of traffic.
That includes David Silverman, who lives just a few blocks from Golden Gate Park.
"I'm very excited," he said. "This is such a big musical festival and it's all for free."
As for trying to catch anything else happening in the city this weekend, like a bit of yachting off Pier 39, or trying to brave the crowds to see an air show? No way, Silverman said, too "scary."
"Everyone said over a million people would be coming to town," he said. "I love the Blue Angels and Fleet Week but I think I'm just gonna have to look up from here!"