A Few of My Favorite Things: Fleet Week’s Blue Angels

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Photo of Blue Angels via Unsplash.

By Kathy Chouteau

The Standard’s recently launched series, “A Few of My Favorite Things,” takes a quick look at some of this reporter’s top local treasures—be they food, drink, places or faces—from Richmond and beyond. Up this week: Fleet Week’s Blue Angels.

This weekend, when the U.S. Navy Blue Angels take flight over San Francisco Bay for the Fleet Week Air Show, one of my favorite things about living in Richmond will be at play.

With more shoreline than any other Bay Area city, Richmond is uniquely poised to reap the benefits of Fleet Week’s spectacle and watch pilots paint the sky with jet contrails as they “[slip] the surly bonds of Earth and [dance in] the sky on laughter–silvered wings,” as John Gillespie Magee, Jr. so eloquently phrased it in his poem, High Flight.

The Blue Angels are set to take part in the Fleet Week Air Show Fri., Oct. 7, Sat., Oct. 8; and Sun., Oct. 9 from 12 to 4 p.m., with the death-defying jets expected to make their appearance over the bay toward the end of each day’s show from 3-4 p.m., per the Navy. If you’ve never seen it, you don’t want to miss it—and if you have seen it before, you know it never gets old.

“With more shoreline than any other Bay Area city, Richmond is uniquely poised to reap the benefits of Fleet Week’s spectacle.”

Richmond community members can hunker down to catch the Fleet Week Air Show for free at one of the city’s shoreline parks—like Barbara & Jay Vincent and Shimada Friendship Parks—or find a spot along the Bay Trail.

Other excellent options for catching the Blue Angels include heading over to the Red Oak Victory Ship or Riggers Loft Wine Company, a wine and cidery collective, both of which are hosting special Fleet Week events Sun., Oct. 9 on Richmond’s shoreline.

Fleet Week as viewed from Riggers Loft. (Photo credit: Kathy Chouteau)

Riggers Loft, located at 1325 Canal Blvd. in Richmond, features a patio with stunning views of the bay and will be offering live music by the Adrian West Band from 2-5 p.m. ($5 music cover), wood-fired pizza and other food selections via its onsite Kitchen Loft on Sunday. As another special offering, a Carica wine flight of four 1.5 oz. samples will be offered for free with the purchase of a bottle of Carica wine for $15 (must be 21 or over) from 1 to 5 p.m.  And, of course, plenty of other wine options will be available via the collective of onsite wineries. Riggers Loft is open Sunday from 1-7 p.m. Reservations for patio seating are highly recommended; click here.

Adjacent to Riggers Loft is the Red Oak Victory, a World War II victory ship, which not only has incredible bay views, but also will be hosting an excellent Fleet Week Pancake Breakfast Sun., Oct. 9 to boot. Breakfast, which runs $15 for adults and $5 for children 8 and under, is offered from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and includes a self-guided tour booklet. A small number of same-day docent-guided tours of the ship are available at a discounted rate, per the Red Oak Victory crew. Nick Rossi and His Swingtones will be performing live swing music on deck and exhibits of Navy artifacts and a large model of a World War II convoy at sea will also be on board.

Stay past breakfast to catch the Blue Angels later in the day—according to the ship’s crew, the jets typically fly over the Red Oak Victory on the way to the Fleet Week Air Show. The ship is located at 1337 Canal Blvd. in Richmond; click here to purchase tickets.

The Blue Angels as seen from Red Oak Victory. Photo by Dori Luzbetak via the Red Oak Victory