The Blue Angels wow Seattle audiences each year during Seafair weekend. While impressive, they do get some shrugs from locals.
“I could go without them,” KIRO Night’s host Gee Scott said. “It’s really no big deal to me. I think they’re great as far as the kids who love them. Then the adults are like, ‘Oh, did you see the Blue Angels?’ It’s like ‘Oh, the traffic,’ or ‘Oh, the weather.’ The Blue Angels are just another added conversation when things get boring.”
But I look at the price — $43,992 per day,” he said. “It comes out to be $88,000 over the weekend just for the fuel bill alone. That’s not including the price of a practice day.”
Co-host Zak Burns objects to the issue of price, however.
“In terms of our military budget, $44,000 is nothing,” he argued. “It’s a budget that’s hundreds of billions of dollars.”
Scott is not alone in the sentiment that he could do without the Blue Angels. Guest columnist Patrick Pilcher, a Vietnam veteran and retired park ranger, recently wrote in The Seattle Times that he feels it’s time to end the Blue Angels program.
“Patrick Pilcher has an issue with them being used, essentially, as a commercial for the military, and there are better ways if we are going to incorporate that sort of naval recruitment into Seafair; that we can do a better job than sending around the Blue Angels,” Zak Burns said.
“He may be correct, they may no longer be a recruitment aid for the Navy, but I like them,” he said. “I’ve seen them for five or six years. And every time I see the Blue Angels, it’s a wonderful and stressful experience because I always think they are going to crash into each other.”
“But when you see the Blue Angels, does anybody think ‘military?’” Gee asked his co-host.
“No, that is interesting,” Zak responded. “I don’t think we associate the two any longer. But I don’t care. I like to see the fast planes.”