The three-day 2014 Miramar Air Show kicked off at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Friday, a year after it was shuttered by the federal government.

The Blue Angels performed Friday afternoon at the end of the first day of the Miramar Air Show.

Under partly cloudy skies with temps in the upper 90s, cheering crowds gathered with lawn chairs or bought tickets under tents, called chalets.

This year’s show continues from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with a special twilight show scheduled from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday, according to officials at the central San Diego air station. Tickets range from free to up to $250 for preferred seating.

The newest aircraft to join the Marine Corps aviation arsenal, the F-35 Lightning II, made its Miramar Air Show debut with a display of its ability to take off vertically from assault ships and hover over the flight line.

The Blue Angels performed Friday afternoon at the end of the first day of the Miramar Air Show.

The U.S. Navy’s popular Blue Angels flight demonstration team will be among this year’s performers. The show will also highlight the Marine Air- Ground Task Force, the U.S. Navy Leap Frogs and the U.S. Army Golden Knights.

The Leap Frogs and the Golden Knights are both parachute teams, while the Marine Air-Ground Task Force combines the use of air support, armor, artillery and infantry forces.

This year’s show will also include some civilian performers.

Last year’s show was canceled one day before it was suppose to start, surprising show organizers, even Miramar’s Commanding Officer, Col. John Farnam. At the time, he said the timing could not have been worse.

Even before it was canceled, plans for the 2013 show were scaled back from its usual three-days to two after the Defense Department decided to pull the Blue Angels from the line-up due to automatic spending cuts known as “sequestration.”

Proceeds from the show go to programs that support local military families. The 2012 show netted $1.6 million in profits for Miramar.

Because of the last-minute cancellation last year, Miramar was left holding the bag for more than a half-million dollars in contract reimbursements for performers and vendors who had already traveled to San Diego and begun setting up.

— City News Service

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