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Seafair confirms: Blue Angels cancel Seattle appearance

Due to mandatory federal spending cuts, many shows by the U.S. Navy flight demonstration squadron have been canceled this year. (AP Photo/File)

After weeks of speculation and looming budget cuts, Seafair has confirmed the Blue Angels will not be a part of the Boeing Air Show in 2013.

“The Navy has cancelled the remaining 2013 performances of its Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels,” said a statement from U.S. Department of Defense.

Due to mandatory federal spending cuts, many shows by the U.S. Navy flight demonstration squadron have been canceled this year.

“Recognizing budget realities, current Defense policy states that outreach events can only be supported with local assets at no cost to the government,” said the department.

The Patriots Jet Team, a flight team based out of California will step in to fill the lead slot of the Seafair air show.

On Tuesday, Seafair released the following statement:

Dear Fans,

Today we were officially informed by the US Navy Blue Angels that their season has been cancelled, including the Seafair performance, due to Federal Budget Cuts resulting from sequestration. The Blue Angels have flown at Seafair for over 40 years and are an important part of our history. The team will be deeply missed by Seattleites, however Seafair will continue in its traditional fashion. The Patriots Jet Team, which we previously announced, will now assume the lead spot in our world-class air show. The six-ship aerobatic team electrifies spectators with fast-paced formation flying, choreographed four-ship diamond formation aerobatic maneuvers and are highlighted by a computerized red, white and blue smoke system. Many of the pilots include past experience with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, U.S.A.F. Thunderbirds and Royal Canadian Air Force.

In addition to the air show, Seafair Weekend will include H1 Unlimited hydroplane racing, F1 PROP Tour boat racing, a vintage hydroplane exhibition, a wakeboard competition featuring the top athletes in the sport, live music and activities such as a zip line and water slide. Seafair Weekend, and the Seafair festival overall, has evolved over the years. It is a festival with many facets – an eight week celebration that includes over 75 events and reaches nearly two million people.

We’re grateful for the support of our fans, volunteers, sponsors and beyond. Together, we’ve connected and celebrated as a community for the last 64 summers. We look forward to carrying on this long-standing tradition.

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