Commissioning Week started last Friday, so Annapolis is already overflowing with visitors. But the boost the Angels provide will be missing.

"Call it the sequester echo," Franyo says.

At Cantler's Riverside Inn on Mill Creek, general manager Dan Donnelly says the restaurant doesn't offer the best view of the shows, but Blue Angels day always means a huge spike in business afterward.

The cancellation will be a blow.

"If the [Angels] fly, we have more servers on, more cooks, more staff. Everyone gets more hours. My waitresses love that day. We'll take a hit financially," he says.

Debbie Gosselin, owner of Watermark Cruises in Annapolis, says each of the company's 13 vessels was fully booked for its Blue Angels cruises on Wednesday, when the show was to take place.

Only two remain booked, a loss of about 1,700 customers.

"I don't know how much we'll lose. I told myself I wasn't going to count it up this year," she says.

O'Neill, who doubles as president of the Annapolis Business Association, says it will be hard to quantify the monetary loss this week, but it will be significant.

"It will definitely have an impact on the local economy," he says.

During what would have been the Blue Angels time slot Wednesday, the Naval Academy will host an afternoon of live concerts, but that won't forestall the sense of emotional letdown.

Just ask Chris Peterson.

Peterson, the president of St. John's College, and his wife, Joyce Olin, have hosted a Blue Angels party for most of the past seven years.

Their home on the Severn River offers a clear view of the show, he says. Guests spread blankets on the lawn as loudspeakers play the radio announcements from the Academy and children gaze up with their mouths agape.

The Angels' cancellation was "a reasonable judgment in the face of the sequester," he says, but he can't help feeling the disappointment at missing an event he calls "an awe-inspiring sight for all and a source of pride in our Navy."

They'll host a picnic this year, but it won't have the same impact.

"We'll watch the ducks, ospreys and Great Blue [herons] instead," he says.

Across the Bay, organizers of the Ocean City Air Show say they're disappointed — they've been courting the Blue Angels for years, and the team was to appear in the show for the first time — but the loss will be more emotional than financial.

Bryan Lilley, president of the OC Air Show, says he has replaced the Angels with an "all-star, all-civilian lineup" including the nation's only civilian-owned Sea Harrier — a jet known for its vertical takeoffs and landings — and helicopter stunt pilot Chuck Aaron, who will perform rolls, backflips and stalls.

"We've been looking forward to the 'Blues' since we booked them, but flight fans will not be disappointed," he says.

The Blue Angels haven't been wasting their time. The seven-jet team continues to practice near its home base in Pensacola, Fla., preparing for a 2014 season it hopes will proceed as scheduled, and the fliers have made more community appearances than usual.

Frosch says if the grounding means America's fighting men and women overseas will be better equipped and trained, he's fine with sitting out a year.

But he remembers how the Angels thrilled him as a boy, then as a student at the academy, giving him a sense of what heights he, too, could climb.

"A lot of folks refer to the Blues as a national treasure," the lead pilot says, "and I certainly know what they mean. I'm sorry we won't be in Annapolis this year."

jonathan.pitts@baltsun.com

An earlier version of this story stated an incorrect rank for U.S. Navy Commander Thomas Frosch. It has been corrected here.