They streak through the sky leaving fans on the ground star struck. People like Duff McKAgan, the Grand Marshal of this year's Seafair.
“Suddenly I'm 9!” McKagan said.
You might know McKagan as the bass player in a little band called Guns & Roses, but he said Tuesday The Blues are the real rock stars. “They're mythological dudes!”
Like many Seattle natives, McKagan grew up watching The Blue Angels. Now he's introducing his own kids to the tradition. “For all of us in Seattle, you get to be a kid for a week,” he said.
The precision jet squadron has been part of Seafair since 1972. But with massive Pentagon cuts looming, the jets have their tails on the chopping block.
“I'd be sad,” said Blue Angels fan Lisa Heard who came to watch them land at Boeing Field Tuesday. “I know all of Seattle and King County would be upset.”
That was the case in 1994 and 1995 when an FAA issue kept the Blue Angels from performing at Seafair. Flocks of people stayed home, resulting in losses of hundreds of thousands of dollars for the event.
“The Torchlight Parade, the family events, the community events and the Blue Angels are what make up the whole of Seafair,” said Seafair CEO Beth Knox. “Taking out any one of those elements would be like ripping off a band aid. It would not be good.”
With deeps cuts coming to federal programs across the country, critics say spending $37-million a year on air shows is irresponsible.
Rep. Norm Dicks, who represents the Navy town of Bremerton, said he believes The Blues will survive the budget axe, if for one reason alone. “Because they are one of the greatest recruiting tools the Navy has," Dicks said.
As for fans like McKagan -- he'd rather see the military "Slash” somewhere else.
“I think the Pentagon could pull some money out of other parts of the world and put it back into the Blue Angels," he said.
Here's what their landing looked like at Boeing Field:
Here's what it looked like to Facebook fan Matt Ziegler from his desk at Boeing:
And here's Seafair Grand Marshall Duff McKagan of Guns and Roses meeting the team:
Practices begin Thursday, with closures on Interstate 90. I-90 over Lake Washington will be closed again during their performances on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Click here for the schedule of closures.