The U.S. Navy announced plans Monday to fund the return of the Blue Angels and Fleet Week to Seattle’s Seafair next year.
Seafair officials have been planning since December for the flight team to come back in 2014, said spokeswoman Melissa Jurcan. But it wasn’t until Monday that the Navy said it plans on a full 2014 Blue Angels tour next year and five Fleet Weeks despite budget cuts.
Because of the potential for continuing budget squabbles in Congress, Jurcan said Seafair organizers were “cautiously optimistic” that both the Blue Angels and Fleet Week would be back. Since 1950, Fleet Week has brought several Navy ships into Seattle to dock during the annual summer celebration. Fleet Weeks are held in other port cities as well.
“Everything seems so tentative with Congress, we’re going to hold off on any big announcements until about January,” Jurcan said.
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The Blue Angels show was canceled last summer after federal sequestration forced funding cuts. The Department of Defense withdrew 2,800 outreach events throughout the country this year, according to a Navy release.
Most Department of Defense public-outreach programs will be operating at reduced capacity next year according to a department release. The cost-cutting measures — which could affect the frequency of other shows involving jets, parachute teams, bands and port visits — will save the department $104 million.