Fleet Week, Parade of Ships, Blue Angels Delight in San Francisco

More than a million people are expected to pour into San Francisco this weekend for the 36th annual Fleet Week, and many are here just for the United States Navy's Blue Angels. 

The big air shows kicked off with an incredible demonstration Friday afternoon and are scheduled again at noon on Saturday and Sunday.

That's when the Blue Angels, who are celebrating their 70th anniversary this year, will take to the skies along with the Air Force’s F-22 Raptor, the Royal Canadian Air Force's CF-18 and the Breitling Jet Team, of France.

"It’s our country, our Navy, our military ... and our city — San Francisco," Mary Kairis said. "They’re doing a great job."

On Friday, thousands of people strained their necks to watch an F-22 Raptor climb into the clouds. The fighter jet made it’s Fleet Week debut on a perfect fall day in San Francisco.

While many were dazzled by the loud engines and twists and turns, aspiring pilot Drake Robichaud from Colorado was mesmerized by the skill and training required to fly some of the fastest planes in the world.

"It's really hard," he said, adding that the way the planes "glide across the scenes" is "amazing."

Viewers are allowed to take photographs from the ground, but no drones are allowed with a five mile radius of the Embarcadero. Anyone caught using a drone could be fined up to $10,000.

On Friday morning, the Parade of Ships made its way under the Golden Gate Bridge. And this weekend, people are encouraged to get a closer look onboard. Free tours start at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. People can also visit the Veteran's Art Exhibit and watch the USMC 1st Marine Division Band.

San Francisco has activated its emergency operations center for Fleet Week and a heavy police presence was found in the Fort Mason area on Friday, where people gathered for the biggest stars — the Blue Angels.

"We sat here and all of the sudden, the show started," Lotfi Bashir said.

And the precision flight team definitely didn’t disappoint its fans.

"It’s even better than I remember [from] over 20 years ago," Kairis said.

For more information about Fleet Week, visit www.fleetweeksf.org.

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