Let the Blue Angel Buzzing Begin

By Lori Preuitt
|  Tuesday, Oct 6, 2009  |  Updated 7:19 PM PDT
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A F-22 flies during the Joint Services Open House and Air Show May 16, 2008 at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.

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It's going to be a busy weekend in the City.  Some of the world's best golfers will draw thousands to Harding Park.  The 49ers and their 3-1 winning ways will take on the Falcons a Candlestick.  And guess what?  It's also Fleet Week.

Expect to get your first Blue Angel buzz starting Tuesday as the elite team flies in formation before landing at SFO.

Their official practice flights over the bay are scheduled for Thursday and Friday with the main event set for Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

Fleet Week has lost much of its luster in the past decade, but still brings out more than 100,000 people to watch the Navy's best do their thing.

Fleet Week 2009 will also feature a small parade of U.S. Navy ships along the San Francisco waterfront Saturday as well as ship tours.

A full list of Fleet Week events is available online.

Speaking at a news conference, Blue Angels Cmdr. Greg McWherter said this is his first year flying in San Francisco. As the team flew up the coastline this morning, they were treated to some stellar views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge, he said. Other cities his team visits are "a little bit more flat," he said.

"We're excited about four great days of flying here in your city," he said.

McWherter said the Blue Angels also hope to recruit a few onlookers who "get inspired by what we're doing." 

Newsom said he expects 1.2 million people to attend Fleet Week, along with "arguably hundreds of thousands more in backyards and rooftops."

First-time sponsor CVS/pharmacy will be offering free rides on all F-line Muni trains Saturday and Sunday. 

With Fleet Week, the Presidents Cup and other events converging on San Francisco, Newsom said "October is a huge month for the city, even by historic standards."    

Fleet Week dates back to 1908, but was installed as an annual event by former mayor Dianne Feinstein in 1981.

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