Seattle’s biggest party of the year since 1950…Seafair…kicks into high gear this weekend, with Hydroplane Races on lake Washington and the corresponding airshow featuring the U.S. Navy’s excellent Blue Angels (they begin practicing Wednesday). A big part of Seafair in this traditional Navy town is the arrival of the annual Seafair Fleet. With the Navy yard in Bremerton having been one of the West Coast’s major repair and refit stations since 1891, our Navy has been parading ships through Puget Sound since the days of Teddy Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet, but with Seafair the city really opens it’s doors to sailors from all over the country.  With our military otherwise engaged in other parts of the world, they’re not sending us Battleships or Aircraft Carriers anymore (remember the U.S.S. Nimitz conducting flight operations on Elliott Bay during the Clinton years?), but every ship plays a vital role. While the newer ships may seem smaller, they are even more lethal to our nation’s enemies, and you can still visit them…click here for details.

Here Comes The Navy, BTW, was the name of a 1930’s feature film starring Jimmy Cagney, and filmed aboard the mighty battleship U.S.S. Arizona (sunk at Pearl Harbor at the start of WWII) and the U.S. Navy Zeppelin Macon(crashed in a storm off Big Sur California in 1935). The film is owned by TCM, who run it occasionally but have not seen fit to distribute it in any format. Naval history buffs everywhere will encourage you to go to their website and demand it’s release!


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