That absolutely IS the ultimate question!
If you live in the Greater Seattle Area or close proximity. Personally I did not grow up here and it has taken me a while to get to the point that I naturally think about Seafair and what to do this year. I will also confess that my draw to Seafair when I first moved here in 2002 was without a doubt the Blue Angels performance.
I moved here from flat Indiana (no offense my fellow Hoosiers) to almost the top of a neighborhood called Somerset. To some, that means absolutely nothing, here when you say that the most common response is, “Oh!, Wow, that must have been a big culture shock!”. Why yes, it was as a matter of fact. the Somerset Neighborhood is built on what locals call a “hill”, what we from the Midwest would consider a “mountain”. The neighborhood’s highest point is only about 1,000 feet in elevation and we lived two street down from the top. In other words…not far.
What drew me in our first Seafair experience was the Blue Angels practicing for their air show during the week. The Blue Angels are a is a U.S. Navy Demonstration Squadron consisting of 16 Officers performing air shows that will keep you mesmerized from start to finish. The Blue Angels arrive a few days prior to the Sea Fair landing at, Boeing Field, in Renton, WA. This then allows plenty of practice time throughout the week.
Typically, they arrive on the Monday before Sea Fair and they then practice on Thursday and Friday (this year August 4th-August 5th will be their practice days. On Thursday and Friday during their practice hours which are usually 2 hours in the morning and then 2 hours in the afternoon, During their practice time the Washington State Department of Transportation closes down the entire I-90 floating bridge due to the fact that it is in the parameters of their flight box.
Even if you are not at 1,000 feet of elevation, checking the clock for the Angel’s practice start time will not be necessary. Until you get use to it, you will swear a jet plane is about to land on your roof. So, imagine working in the yard the first the Blue Angels fly over! It leaves you speechless for a split second, as does standing on the the floating bridge at Sea Fair during the performance.
The Blue Angels actually have quite an amazing website (www.blueangels.navy.mil) as does Sea Fair (www.seafair.com). Bot hare extremely detailed and offer many cool photos. Calendar of Events and history. If you are not in the Seattle area to attend Sea Fair, I encourage you to check out both websites, they are very informative.
Still lies the question, “What ARE you doing for Sea Fair?” And, although the festivities kick off today, my answer is still, “Well, I am not exactly sure.” The one definite in my answer every year is to find a place to watch the Blue Angels. For me, the Blue Angels are the highlight of my Sea Fair weekend. By no means are the Blue Angels the only sights to see. Sea Fair runs four days and all are packed full of activities from the Sea Fair Pirates coming ashore on Lake Washington, the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon, Torchlight Fan Fest, Fleet Week, Hydroplane Races, Ship Tours by the Maritime Celebrations to Beer Gardens and Food Stands. My friends, if you can’t find something to your liking, then there is problem!
Whatever a family decides to do, more than likely they decide to to get an early start whether it is walking in, driving in or if you are going to boat in and tie up to the Log Boom, you should plan on an early morning and a long day.