SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The San Francisco tradition celebrating military service that draws in tens of thousands of people to the waterfront returns to the Bay Area this week.

The Blue Angels kicked of the festivities with their arrival at the Oakland Airport Sunday evening, where Captain Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger was on hand to greet them with nothing but praise.

“They take it to another level, and they fly in extremely close formation in a very dramatic way.  So, it takes a lot of practice and specific skills to make it as good as they do, and make it precise as they are able to do,” Sullenberger said.

The Blue Angels are practicing Thursday, Oct. 8 from 12-4 p.m., which the public can watch for free.

People wishing to avoid the large crowds to watch one or all three of the air shows can purchase premium box seats for $49.50 ($55 at the gate).

If you are opting to view the show for free from the Marina, you’ll want to arrive a couple hours before show time.

For the best free viewing spot, Inside Guide To San Francisco recommends trekking up the hill past the Municipal Pier at the western end of Aquatic Park and above Fort Mason.

The Red and White Fleet boat tour company also offers a special 2.5 hour Fleet Week Cruise for the afternoon air shows Oct. 9 to Oct. 11.

COMPLETE SCHEDULE OF 2015 FLEET WEEK EVENTS

Thursday 10/8

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Ship Tours

12 p.m. to 4 p.m. — Blue Angels Practice

Friday 10/9

11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. — Parade of Ships

12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. — Air Show

Saturday 10/10

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Marina Green Festival

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Ship Tours

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Bark at the Park K9 Heroes

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Marina Green Festival & Humanitarian Village

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. — Off the Grid Fleet Fest presented by Lyft

12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. — Air Show

Sunday 10/11

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. — Off the Grid Fleet Fest presented by Lyft

9 a.m. to 6 p.m. — Ship Tours

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Marina Green Festival & Humanitarian Village

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. — Off the Grid Fleet Fest presented by Lyft

12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. — Air Show

Monday 10/12

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Ship Tours

10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. — High School Band Challenge

For more information, visit fleetweeksf.org.

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