Fleet Week sails smoothly over the bay

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Austin Brazil

The Patriot Team Jets streak through the air at Fleet Week. “ [They left] the most beautiful color trails behind,” viewer Ava Brownlee said.

Navy carriers and planes of all sorts came together in the bay this week for the annual San Fransisco Fleet Week.

Held Oct. 3-11, the successful event drew large swaths of visitors crowds. Thousands of locals and enthusiasts gathered in the Marina Green Park and throughout the piers of San Fransisco to watch air shows and tour naval ships. Groups such as the Blue Angels and the Patriot Jet Team performed numerous exciting stunts across the day, entertaining viewers.

“It is a great show for all age groups, and it is great for the local community,” said Kacey Wilkins, a mother of four who attended the event with her children.

Admission to the event was free. However, tours, special shows, along with food and beverages, came with a charge. The naval ship tours apart of the show ranged from $85 up to $325.

Many viewers at Fleet Week were returning after seeing the shows in prior years. Local resident Ava Brownlee has been for many years and enjoys the shows every year.

“The shows never get old, and I plan to keep coming as long as the show goes on,” Brownlee said.

The shows never get old, and I plan to keep coming as long as the show goes on.”

— Ava Brownlee

The event also supports the Navy, as it employs members for the event, giving them some extra income. Additionally, it allows recruiters for the Navy to find targeted audiences for recruitment. All Blue Angels’ merchandise tents consist of active service Navy members as their employees.

“Fleet Week provides me with a little extra revenue every year,” said naval crew member Chase Phillips, who was employed at one of the booths.

One of the major attractions of Fleet Week was the tour of the USS Michael Monsoor, a United States destroyer ship. The tour was exceedingly popular, with lines 3 hours long to get on the ship. Despite the lengthy wait, visitors were undeterred and viewed it as a wonderful experience.

“It was well worth the wait to see all the cool components of the ship,” Wilkins said.

Fleet Week’s significant attraction also increased clientele for local shops and restaurants, lines out the door were visible at most shops near the event. Concession stands also saw a substantial influx of customers, some even having to shut their windows due to a lack of product.

“We had to close our window for two hours, so we could get more products to sell,” said Kim Chuang, an employee of a concession stand located near the Marina Green Park.

Ultimately, Fleet Week proved to be an immensely popular and successful event, captivating viewers of all different ages and backgrounds and raising significant revenue for the local community and U.S. Navy.

“It is such a great overall experience,” Philips said.