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Seafair traditions - love 'em or leave 'em?August 2, 2012 @ 5:07 pm (Updated: 8:18 am - 8/3/12 )
It's become an annual summer tradition in Seattle - hearing the roar of the soaring Blue Angels, and listening to the grumbling from grumpy residents who think the U.S. Navy's precision jets are annoying.
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Andrew Johnson
"I never look forward to the annual arrival of the Blue Angels and their performances during the Seafair hydro- race weekend. I admire their precision and skill. But I've seen them over and over and over again, and I don't have to see them to appreciate them anymore," writes Jim Moore, co- host of The Kevin Calabro Show on 710 ESPN Seattle.
"It's the most annoying four days of the year, and I much prefer the other 361 without them," he adds.
For every morose Moore in the area, there are an equal number of festive fellows who appreciate Seattle's summer tradition.
"Seafair is ugly, but our own. I dislike much of it, but defend its right to exist; it keeps Seattle from being too serious, the pompous city of more important things. It also has excitement and tradition: the hydro races, the Blue Angels screaming overhead, the Navy coming to town. I love it," says local author and columnist Knute Berger.
"Our Puget Sound economy leans heavily on the defense industry. Seafair publicly recognizes that link which so many people in Seattle would rather forget. Seafair is beer-swilling, sun-burning, big engine all-American fun, a balance to bike-riding, light-deprived, vegan-eatin' Dept. of Peace-lovin' Seattle," Berger says.
On Facebook, some friends are not fans of the fun.
"Traditions aren't always good thing. Besides the money and the air pollution they produce, even visibly, and how they endanger the lives in a metropolitan area below them, yes accidents DO happen, I would rather the military put the millions spent of dollars spent on showing off, into taking care of the lives of our brave veterans. I believe that would be a better use of our tax dollars," says Kim Mulligan who leaves town during Seafair.
"The hydros weren't all that interesting," says Jim Gardner. "They weren't years ago and they certainly aren't today. It's an excuse for a bunch of wealthy boaters to swarm Lake Washington with a my-boat-is-bigger-than-yours mentality, get drunk, and watch a wasteful Blue Angels show. Flush this tradition."
Others say, bring it on baby.
"It's part of the identity of Seattle. It's entertaining for the tens of thousands who participate. It's a unique annual event. Letting the celebration go would be like deleting anniversaries or birthdays. It's a pretty special time for Seattle," says Dennis Bauer.
Darrel Bowman agrees, "The Blue Angels rock. I love how they remind us of the grace and power our men and women in uniform. Without these men and women, we would not enjoy the freedoms we do today. Our nation's veterans, servicemen and service women truly are the 1 percent to which we owe everything we hold most dear such as freedom and liberty."
And you say...?
Have a great Seafair weekend.
By LINDA THOMAS
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