USNA Commissioning Week: The Ultimate Blue Angels Guide

USNA Commissioning Week: The Ultimate Blue Angels Guide

Every May, Annapolis is abuzz preparing for some of its most significant events of the year. The USNA Commissioning Week is one of the most popular, fun-filled times, jam-packed with activities from dawn ’til dusk. During that week, the Blue Angels head into town for a spectacular two days. On the first day, folks get to observe incredible air maneuvers as the Angels prepare and practice for day two: The Big Show. At Naval Bagels, this is our favorite time of year! The Angels are weaved into the fabric of Annapolis. Annapolitans love to celebrate, and let’s be honest, the day of the Blue Angels show is practically a holiday here. We have put together a comprehensive Blue Angels Guide, including everything you need to know.

A Brief History

Did you ever wonder when the Blue Angels started flying? Or what it takes to be a Blue Angel? Or in what type of aircraft the Angels fly their incredible maneuvers?

  • At the end of World War II, Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, ordered the formation of a flight demonstration team to showcase naval aviation. The group performed its first flight demonstration less than a year later on June 15, 1946.
  • As early as 1947, Angels flight leader Lt. Cmdr. Bob Clarke, introduced the infamous Blue Angels trademark: The Diamond Formation.
  • The Blue Angels’ six demonstration pilots currently fly the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet.
  • In a typical year, the Blue Angels Fly in more than 70 shows at 34 locations throughout the United States.
  • The Angels still employ many of the same techniques used in their aerial displays in their inaugural 1946 season.
  • Every year, an estimated 11 million spectators view the squadron during air shows.

The Blue Angels Mission

The squadron follows a particular mission in support of their Blue Angels Foundation:

“To promote the general welfare of the United States Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, ‘The Blue Angels,’ and its predecessor organization, The United States Navy Flight Demonstration Team. To preserve and maintain the high standards, customs and traditions of these organizations, and the members and former members thereof.”

The foundation serves to positively impact the understanding and healing of vets who have PTSD. The goal is saving lives and encouraging a peaceful transition from military to civilian life for wounded veterans and their families.

When & Where to See the Blue Angels

For two days, regular life seems to halt as the Blue Angels head into town. No doubt you have your favorite place and traditions. This year, Tuesday, May 21 and Wednesday, May 22 you can catch the show at the following times and locations:

  • Tuesday, over the Severn River at 11:00 am – 1:00 pm for circle and arrival, and at 1:45 pm – 4:00 pm for a flight rehearsal.
  • Wednesday, over the Severn River at 1:45 pm – 4:00 pm for a flight demonstration.
  • And, as if you haven’t had enough, there’s the time-honored graduation flyover at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

Many folks like to head to Downtown Annapolis to view the show. Or, another popular option is seeing the show from the water aboard a boat. Click here for a list of boating rules. You can also head into the USNA and watch it there. For admittance to the Yard be sure to bring your photo ID.

Traffic and Other Safety Notices

Traffic is sure to be heavy all over town that day. Consider parking at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and take advantage of the free shuttle in and out of town. Also for safety reasons, the Route 450 Bridge over the Severn River will be closed to all vehicle and pedestrians on Tuesday and Wednesday during the Blue Angels demonstrations. Other roads that will be affected include Maryland Route 450, U.S. Route 50, Roscoe Rowe Boulevard, King George Street, Annapolis Street and Taylor Avenue.

Let Us Join in the Fun

We hope this Ultimate Blue Angels Guide helps with the planning of your festivities. Whichever way you choose to celebrate during USNA Commissioning Week let Naval Bagels be part of the fun! Fuel up for the start of your day with one of our delicious breakfast sandwiches. Or grab a few lunch options for mid-afternoon snacking. We also offer our bagels by bulk with containers of your favorite cream cheese. Naval Bagels loves everything about the USNA, and we feel honored to provide support in any way we can!

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