Fleet Week is back and better in San Francisco after pandemic absence

Fleet Week is scheduled to return to San Francisco on Monday. City officials said preparations are underway for the return of the in-person event, which organizers say is the only one in the country this year.

In a few days, the bay will be full of military ships and the sky will be filled with Blue Angels. And that means another step towards normal for the city.

“It’s one of the most beloved events in San Francisco, and people love it every year,” said Lewis Loeven of the San Francisco Fleet Week Association. “It’s a huge blow to the economy. But it’s a huge blow to having fun in the city.”

Over the past few years, Fleet Week has drawn up to one million visitors with hundreds of thousands on hand for the signature airshow alone.

The city’s health director said San Francisco can host large-scale events such as Fleet Week with appropriate security measures in place. The organizers ask everyone to wear a face cover and, above all, to be fully vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Law enforcement officials said security plans had been in the works for months.

“You will see us walking in uniform. You will see us in civilian clothes, in the shadows to make sure people are just focusing on events and activities and really enjoying the time they have here,” said the sheriff of San Francisco Paul. Miyamoto.

Police urge participants to take public transport and if driving is essential then park smartly.

“Make sure you keep your valuables out of sight and locked up. It’s a good idea to do this before you park,” said Daniel Perea of ​​the San Francisco Police Department. “You don’t want to park somewhere and go out and move everything in the trunk.”

For the Pier 23 Cafe, the return of Fleet Week after a virtual event last year means a lot more diners on their outdoor patio, which is good news for the result.

“It’s huge for us. A lot of people come here to the water’s edge to watch the Blue Angels fly and all the ships and everything,” said McGurrin Leibert of the Pier 23 Cafe. “It’s great for business. We love it.”

Organizers and health officials said the city’s high vaccination rate and relatively low COVID transmission rate was the reason big events like Fleet Week and the Chinese New Year Parade were getting on fire. green.

They are still pushing for everyone who has not yet been vaccinated to do so.

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