Feature Story

Air shows, hydros, and parades -- oh my!

From the streets to the skies, Boeing’s participation in this summer’s annual Seafair festival in Seattle, Wash. was something to celebrate. Seafair has been a beloved community event for 65 years, and Boeing has been a key part of the festivities practically from the start.

Boeing’s most visible contributions to the weekend-long festival were several dazzling displays in the Boeing Seafair Airshow. The most notable: Boeing’s newest commercial airplane, the 787-9 which performed in its first U-S based air show before an appreciative home-town audience.

That audience included Boeing employee Jason Wedekind, who works in Contracts. “I think the crowd really appreciated it.” he said of the 787-9 flyover. “It really meant a lot to everybody here in Seattle to see that aircraft over.”

Another huge hit was the gravity-defying and awe inspiring U.S. Navy Blue Angels, flying Boeing F/A-18 Hornets which performed after a one-year hiatus.

But Boeing’s role in Seafair extended far beyond the air show. Employees from Everett Manufacturing Services had the honor of guiding a massive Blue Angel balloon through downtown streets during the iconic Torchlight Parade the week before.

“We get to maneuver around the trees and around the power lines, but we have a good team,” said Cristi King, Director of Everett Manufacturing Services. “We’re used to carrying materials, so I’m sure we can do it!”

Also in the parade – multiple branches of the US military, who hours earlier were able to set down their instruments, change into their uniforms, and grab a bite to eat at the Boeing Military Hospitality suite manned largely by Boeing volunteers.

Back at the three-day Seafair festival, dedicated members of Boeing Transportation, were hard at work using a dozen Boeing vans to shuttle thousands of people from distant parking lots to the festival grounds. Despite the huge crowds and high temperatures, they said it was an honor. “It is so exciting because Boeing is Seattle. Seafair is Seattle,” said Michele Fay-Lonsdale, a driver with Boeing Transportation. “To be part of this and to help out and be here on a day like today is fabulous!

Once on the festival grounds – many people dropped in on the Boeing-sponsored FIRST Robotics tent which showcased the handiwork of the young students they are inspiring to pursue science, engineering, and technology.

Boeing project manager Darin Gee spends his free time mentoring FIRST Robotics students and was proud the children he works with had a spot to show off their handiwork. “Boeing gets it,” said Gee. “Boeing realizes that these kids here, we’re teaching them our processes that we’re doing at Boeing today.”