Fleet Week cancelled, but S.F., Pier 39 planning other events

What would have been busiest week of year for businesses now only an ordinary day, retailer says

The cancellation of numerous San Francisco Fleet Week events has disappointed many businesses on Fisherman's Wharf on what would have been one

of their busiest weeks of the year.

On Oct. 4 city officials announced the cancellation of all humanitarian assistance and disaster response drills between federal and city

agencies due to the federal government shutdown. In April the Blue Angels squadron's flight demonstration and ship parade was canceled due to federal sequestration cuts.

Alioto's Restaurant General Manager Matthew Violante said Fleet Week is "special to San Francisco" and the cancellation is "very


Many people have called ahead to reserve spots on the restaurant's second floor dining room to view the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels air show and naval ship parade only to find out that the events have been canceled, Violante said.

Fleet Week "is geared toward being on the wharf" but its cancellation will mean more people will stay home, Violante said.

Felix Lantsman, owner of video and camera store Digital Center, said he was shocked when he first heard Fleet Week was canceled.

"Fisherman's Wharf has a lot of life during Fleet Week" but "something's missing" on the waterfront without the events, he said.

Lantsman, who has owned his business on the corner of Jefferson and Leavenworth streets for over 15 years, predicts he will lose 50% of sales usually gained during Fleet Week.

Marina Casey, one of the owners at the Gold Dust Lounge, said Fleet Week brought so much energy to the city.

She has friends in the Bay Area who would make their "annual pilgrimage" to San Francisco to watch the show with their families.

Fleet Week is enjoyable for people from all walks of life as opposed to sporting events or concerts that only have limited audiences, Casey said.

In previous years the waterfront was packed with people watching the Blue Angels practices, she said.

Fleet Week was a good transition for businesses before entering the slow months of tourism and its cancellation will create a "trickle down effect for the whole city," she said.

What would have been the busiest week of the year for businesses will now only be an ordinary day, Casey said.

"(Fleet Week) is the last big push that helps our businesses get through the winter and now we don't have that," Fisherman's Wharf Community Benefit District Executive Director Troy Campbell said.

To help offset the losses from Fleet Week a "Wharf Fest" will be held on Jefferson and Beach streets on Oct. 26 and 27, Campbell said.

"I hope we can offset some of the losses but we don't think we can match what we can bring from Fleet Week because the Blue Angels is a huge draw," Campbell said.

The two-day festival will include a chowder competition and kitchen demonstration by chefs on the wharf. More information is available on

— Bay City News Service


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Afful Farder
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 11, 2013 at 8:59 am

It's truly sad for this nation that we can't cancel Obama - before it's too late.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joseph
a resident of Avila
on Oct 11, 2013 at 9:10 am

Yes, it IS Obama's fault. It sure as heck ain't Bush's fault. Now flame away at me libbies, flame away. I'm so disappointed in Fleet Week not happening and everything else in this country that's going down the tubes----80% of which Obama and the left are responsible for.

(Wizards of Smart, go ahead, show your wit and let me know how obtuse I am for loving my country, and for standing up for what's right. Go ahead--I've heard it ALL so it doesn't bother me.)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Oct 11, 2013 at 9:39 am

I also love AMERICA! I've attended Fleet Week for years and I'm also disappointed.

I don't have a need to blame President Obama for everything that happens.

I would never vote for a Democrat or a Republican.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by L Young
a resident of Danbury Park
on Oct 11, 2013 at 10:24 am

Do you people in Pleasanton live in a vacuum??? You blame Obama? The republicans won't come to the table, call your legislator and tell them how sad you are you couldn't go to Fleetweek, maybe you can get the Republicans off there high horses and get the budget approved

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Oct 11, 2013 at 11:36 am

Nope...I don't blame President Obama.

I would NEVER vote for a Democrat or a Republican. There is NO Difference between the two! This difference is mostly who weighs the most.

end of story...

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Oct 11, 2013 at 3:45 pm

We live in a complex society, not unlike the one people experienced when communities were first established some 10,000 years ago. I think we have to get used to the idea that universal harmony is difficult to achieve in groups numbering more than one.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Negotiate
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 12, 2013 at 7:49 am

It takes 2 to make an argument. The Health Care Act passed because the majority voted for it. Now Republicans are saying - we don't think it should have and we aren't going to play ball with you until we have our way. Democrats are saying - it passed. We need the gov't to work. Let's go. So as long as both sides refuse to work together & keep up the argument (you can hear similar ones in the playground) it's our legislators fault. Write to them and tell them what you want them today. [Both sides say they want more time to work on the debt 6 weeks & 15 months; how about the average and then get the gov't back to work.]
Yes, I'm worried - know too many people affected - and missing pleasures (Fleet Week, National Parks) make it worse in this fall season.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by sfca73
a resident of another community
on Oct 14, 2013 at 8:45 am

The grounding of the Blue Angels and the cancellation of Fleet Week is a direct cause of the Sequester that the Republican Party demanded early last year and continue to demand be upheld in the current "negotiations". This was actually announced all those months back as a byproduct of the cancellation of that funding across the board. So blame Obama all ya want but you are 100% ignorant and 100% wrong by doing so.

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