PENSACOLA BEACH, Fla. (WALA) – The roar of the navy blue planes is a unique sight and sound that has gone unseen for far too long and it’s one that locals point to with pride.
“The Blue Angels mean so much to Pensacola. Anyone who’s from this area can go anywhere in the world and if they see the Blue Angels fly, they’ll know that’s part of Pensacola,” Dave Greenwood, water safety supervisor, said.
Getting to the air show Saturday afternoon was an event in and of itself. Thousands and thousands of people turned out for the spectacle, which resulted in heavy bumper to bumper traffic.
“Far and away, this is the largest crowd I’ve seen out here and I’ve seen the airshow since 1992 out here,” Greenwood said.
Some opted to wake up a bit earlier than others to avoid spending an hour and a half on the Three-Mile Bridge.
“Getting out here at 5:30 a.m. is kind of tough, you know, dragging me out of bed. But it’s awesome it’s worth the trip coming down and seeing the Angels,” Breann Shaughnessy, a Mississippi native, said.
“We got up at 4 in the morning and have been waiting here all day. I’m going to see a good show!” Gabriel Hoffay, a Pensacola resident, said.
And for Naval pilot in training Edgar Takeda, Saturday wasn’t just a good show, but also a glimpse at a job he would like to have someday.
“For those that don’t know how difficult it is, it’s actually extremely hard to go up in there and practice those maneuvers over and over again to get them so precise that it looks like they’re just breathing,” Takeda said.
But whether people walked away with a commemorative t-shirt or just the memories of some nearly impossible aerial feats, everyone watching left knowing their favorite aerial stuntmen are back in business.
The next time the Blues will be in Pensacola will be November 7.