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Thu, May 23, 2013

Naval Academy Graduation Will Not Include Blue Angels

Local Annapolis Businesses Feeling The Pinch

The cancellations of the Blue Angels performance schedule for 2013 did not spare one of its traditional outings ... flying for graduation at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.

And while the jets were an inspiration to the cadets, to local businesses, they meant revenue which will not be realized again this year.

According to a report in the Baltimore Sun, local restaurants and other Annapolis businesses will not get the influx of business during graduation week that they would normally see in a year that the Blue Angels were flying. Annapolis residents have been among the lucky few to see the team twice most years; once for Commissioning Week, when they performed a full show, and at a graduation flyover. It had been considered an unofficial holiday, with people jamming restaurants and marinas, kids skipping school, and caterers doing a land-office business for private air show parties.

While the paper reports that there are still a lot of people in Annapolis for graduation and Commissioning Week, which began last Friday, the boost that the jet team provides will not be realized. For example, Watermark Cruises in Annapolis has 13 boats that carry people on tours of the area, and normally they are all full on air show day.  This year, the company reports that only two boats are booked, and they estimate they will see some 1,700 fewer customers. Other businesses say they normally see a "huge spike" in customers on "Blue Angels Day." and that will likely not happen this year.

It is not the first time the Blue Angels have missed performing for graduation at Annapolis. The paper reports that they did not fly at Annapolis in 2011 due to a safety stand-down, and the team had a scheduling conflict last year.

(ANN staff photo)

FMI: www.navy.mil

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