Sunday marked the beginning of Fleet Week, the annual San Francisco celebration by air and sea that thrills (and annoys) many, scheduled this year for October 6 through October 14.
SF has hosted Fleet Week in October since 1981; then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein, who helped usher in the annual aerial festival, is still an honorary co-chair of the event.
The jets can be a terror for pets, and some locals don’t like the military pageantry, but the festival’s current organizers say that it’s “recognized by the United States Department of Defense as the model for fleet weeks across the country.”
Here’s what SF’s Fleet Week forecast looks like in terms of traffic in the skies and the seas:
- Friday, October 11: Parade of Ships, Golden Gate, 11 a.m. to noon
- Friday, October 11: Marina Green Air Show, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- Saturday, October 12: Marina Green Air Show redux, noon to 4 p.m.
- Sunday, October 13: Final Marina Green Air Show, noon to 4 p.m.
The aerial escapades are visible from any number of high vantage points in the city (refer to Curbed SF’s Fourth of July fireworks guide for potential vantage points), but those who want seats on the Marina Green itself for one of the air shows will have to pay between $75 and $325—a considerable spike from last year, when tickets started at $55 up to $250.
Fleet Week is not specifically advertising pre-air show survey flights by the Blue Angels this year. The U.S. Navy Parachute Team (aka the Leap Frogs) are also part of the spectacle, along with U.S. Coast Guard search and rescue helicopters.
Those with fewer airborne aspirations can also check out Fleet Week’s events by land and by sea, with returning popular attractions like Bark at the Park (featuring search and rescue dogs in Duboce Park on Saturday, October 12, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and the high school band challenge in Golden Gate Park (October 14, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).
Here’s the breakdown for ship tours this year, which as always are free but operate on a first-come, first-serve basis, so get in line early:
- Wednesday, October 9: Pier 30/32, Pier 35, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Thursday, October 10: Pier 30/32, Pier 35, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Saturday, October 12: Pier 30/32, Pier 19, 9 a.m.. to 4 p.m.
- Sunday, October 13: Pier 15/17, Pier 19, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Monday, October 14: Pier 30/32 (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.), Pier 19, (9 a.m.. to noon)
Update: Be sure to catch the parade of ships happening in the bay, parading under the Golden Gate Bridge. According to ABC 7, the fleet includes “U.S. Navy ships, joined by a Coast Guard cutter, the Army Corps of Engineers and a representative from the Royal Australian Navy.”