U.S. Navy Blue Angels are back for San Francisco Fleet Week 2019 air shows. Anne Wernikoff/KQED
U.S. Navy Blue Angels are back for San Francisco Fleet Week 2019 air shows. (Anne Wernikoff/KQED)

San Francisco Fleet Week 2019: The Blue Angels Are Here (and So Is the Noise)

San Francisco Fleet Week 2019: The Blue Angels Are Here (and So Is the Noise)

Updated 3 p.m. October 9, 2019

Love it or hate it, it's 2019's San Francisco Fleet Week. Have questions? We've got you covered.

What is Fleet Week?

Every October since 1981, military ships fill San Francisco Bay and the Blue Angels (usually) take to the skies. Fleet Week is a celebration of the Bay Area's naval history and is made up of a series of events around San Francisco, from art exhibits to ship tours and air shows. The U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Marine Corps and the California National Guard are all part of the weeklong event.

"We are excited and proud to welcome the women and men of the sea services back to San Francisco,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed, in a press release for this year's festivities. “During Fleet Week, our first responders will have the opportunity to conduct joint exercises with the sea services. This collaboration is key to making sure that our public safety departments are prepared to serve our city when a disaster occurs.”

The weeklong event is known to draw millions of visitors and, according to the press release from last year, can bring in over $100 million to San Francisco's economy.

This year Fleet Week takes place Oct. 6-14.

Where will it be?

Fleet Week events take place all over San Francisco and range from safety drills to processions.

The air show happens over three days, so if you miss Friday's show, you can catch it Saturday and Sunday. All you have to do is head over to the festival area at Marina Green. It's free, but if you're looking for a better view and don't want to bring your own chair, they do offer tickets for prime spots.

Check out the full calendar of events (with a map!) here.


What are the Blue Angels?

The Blue Angels are the U.S. Navy's official flight demonstration squad, performing dozens of shows annually.

San Franciscans are split on whether they love or hate this high-flying show that features aerial acrobatics. Still, the three-day show is one of the more popular Fleet Week events.

Some complain about the noise, cost and pollution, but it does bring in an estimated 1 million people.

What should you bring?

Camera, backup battery, binoculars (depending on how far you are from the air show) and a map. You might also find the Fleet Week mobile app useful.

Getting around

Depending on which event you're attending, and its location in the city, parking may be a challenge. The Fleet Week website is offering a quick and easy way to reserve parking at various lots for a slight discount.

If you're getting around the city via public transit, use 511 to help plan your trip. The San Francisco Bay Ferry is also an option if you want another way to get into the city.

What hashtag should people use on social media?


Tag @KQEDNews in your Twitter and Instagram posts and we might feature your photos and videos!