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Federal budget cuts may cancel Seafair’s annual Blue Angels visit
On Friday, KIRO news reported that the Blue Angels may not appear at Seafair due to federal budget cuts.
The bright blue precision flying team is a Seafair tradition. But if the numbers don’t work, the show might not go on.
The U.S. Navy confirmed last week that it plans to cancel the Blue Angels air show at Seafair this summer if Congress and the president cannot work out a budget deal and head off automatic government cutbacks.
According to the KIRO, story, the cutbacks will start on March 1 if new spending legislation is not approved.
The Navy said that if a deal is not done, the automatic cuts would cancel all Blue Angels shows in the last half of the year, including the popular show at the big Seafair weekend.
The KIRO story said that cancelling the Seattle appearance would save $20 million.
For now, the jets are still scheduled to come to town the first weekend of August.
Seafair President and CEO Beth Knox said she was confident the show would go on.
“As we’ve seen in recent history, many adjustments are made prior to finalizing the budget, so until this occurs, it would be inappropriate to speculate potential cuts or the degree to which they happen. The Blue Angels are confirmed to fly at Seafair in 2013, and we remain confident the Seattle region will get to enjoy them this summer as they have for over 40 years,” said Knox.
The Blue Angels did not perform at Seafair in 1994 and 1995 as a result of a dispute with the FAA about whether they could safely fly over Lake Washington.
In 1996 the Angels flew over Elliott Bay, west of downtown Seattle, in a separate event from the hydro race. It was unpopular. They returned to flying over race-weekend festivities over Lake Washington in 1997.
To learn more about the annual celebration, visit www.seafair.com.