NAS PENSACOLA (WALA) – The Blues are back in town!
On Wednesday morning, March 26, the familiar roar of the Blue Angels jets was heard in NAS Pensacola.
CROWD OF MORE THAN 25,000
Officials at the Naval Air Station said a crowd of more than 25,000 people came out to see the Blues put on their first official practice here since government budget cuts forced shows to be cancelled last year.
Officials with the Naval Air Museum correctly figured a year’s layoff would attract a big crowd.
Shelley Ragsdale for the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation said, “We’ve had so many phone calls for weeks, months, waiting for the Blues to come back, and, the last few days, the phone calls and inquiries have definitely increased.”
LOCALS AND VISITORS
The crowd was made up of people of all ages: veterans and children, locals and visitors on spring break.
Hannah Maciosek of Stevens Point, Wisconsin, said, “My dad was in the military for twenty years, and, his best friend, we’re staying with him here.”
When asked what she thought of the show, Kiara Shuster of Stevens Point said, “It was amazing.”
Mick Lee, who lives near Detroit, Michigan, said, “We heard on the news, as a matter of fact, and came down here to see what it was all about, and, its awesome.”
Randy Hunsucker is from Pensacola, and he said, “I love the precision. I love the fact that they’re willing to do it, and, I love the fact that they have to learn how to protect us before they do it.”
A VERY HAPPY RETURN
Ruth Malloy of Navarre talked about how much she missed the Blues performances last year.
She said, “It hit me in the heart that they couldn’t fly last year. I was crushed. I really was crushed that they couldn’t fly. Now, that they’re back. I’m going.”
And, so are a lot of other people.
After the sho, the Blue Angels signed autographs at the National Naval Aviation Museum.