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February 8, 2013

Sequester may limit Blue Angels' 2013 performances

But they aren't scheduled to fly in TC until 2014

TRAVERSE CITY — A threat to clip the Blue Angels' wings this year won't affect the National Cherry Festival.

"It seems like the Navy is only speaking to the 2013 budget," said Trevor Tkach, National Cherry Festival executive director.

The Blue Angels, the country's oldest flying aerobatic team, aren't due to fly in Traverse City until 2014. The military squadron traditionally flies every other year, Tkach said.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan sent out a memo last week that reflected the Navy's plan to cancel 30 shows in the second half of 2013 if Congress can't reach a spending deal to avoid a budget sequester by March 1, according to a Washington Times article.

Tkach said he hasn't heard any news from the Navy.

"In my limited experience, they've been very open and direct with communication," he said. "There's no gray with the military acts."

There are no discussions about flight plans for 2014, said Lt. Katie Kelly, the Blue Angels public affairs officer.

"We're hoping to still perform, and looking forward to our air show season and coming to Traverse City in 2014," Kelly said.

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