EL CENTRO, Calif. – Saturday’s Blue Angels Air Show in the Imperial Valley was a display of amazing aerial acrobatics before a crowd of thousands. For some, it was something more – a birthday gift, for example.

San Diego resident Jorge Paz was there with his two kids. “My kids, they both had a birthday here in March. Felix is five. Dean is three. And we just came out to enjoy the event. I promised them an air show,” Paz said.

Some in the crowd said the air show was a family tradition. Riverside resident Eric said, “Last night we came to the party. And we met all the pilots. My grandson, Ryder, got a pin from number five, Tyler Davis. He’s one of the Blue Angels. So we came out to watch him do his show.”

Camarillo resident Dan Newcomb said it was a time to show respect and to value the work of our armed forces. “It’s all about service and country – folks that do this for us, these wonderful people in the navy and all armed forces that serve. When you come to an air show you get a little brief window of what they actually have to do day in and day out,” Newcomb said.

“We show support towards our military. I’m also a vet,” Paz added.

Most agreed that the air show is a wonderful time of family and friendship for everyone.

“They bring all the community members together. It looks like a real fun time. We always have a good time,” Eric said.

“It’s great for the normal public to come out here and meet this people and thank them for what they do for us,” Newcomb said.

“I’m loving it so far and I think the kids are too,” Paz said.