By Alex DeMetrick

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)– Commissioning Week may focus on those graduating from the Naval Academy, but for Annapolis businesses, the focus is on the bottom line.

Alex DeMetrick reports this is the week wallets open up.

In Annapolis, Commissioning Week is what Mardi Gras is to New Orleans–only instead of floats, there is a small armada of boats and instead of beads, there are Naval Academy flags everywhere.

“It’s an incredible week for us,” said Robby Rose, Naptown Clothing Company.

“We love Commissioning Week in Annapolis,” said Katrina Arion, Country Inn and Suites.

“Especially after a hard winter, days like today make all of us managers and owners very happy,” said Colin McGuinn, Stadium Gallery.

Because, like Mardi Gras, Commissioning Week means thousands of visitors. Between now and Friday’s Naval Academy graduation, they will spend $2 million at Annapolis businesses, providing food, shelter and souvenirs to people.

“All over. All over the U.S. We have a group from California, Arizona, Florida. All over,” said Arion.

“It’s usually the kickoff for our entire summer season down here,” Rose said.

And this year, the Blue Angels are back, after an absence of almost four years. The group’s free air show Wednesday will up the crowds and the spending.

“It’s gonna be like Woodstock at the end of the day. It’s gonna be nuts down here, so we’re looking forward to it,” McGuinn said.

It was a very different story last year, when the sequester grounded the Blue Angels.

“It was a little bit slower than it usually is. Business was down,” Rose said.

But businesses are stocked to take off this week, hoping to soar like…well, you know.

Businesses may be counting on profits but it costs nothing to watch the Blue Angels perform. The show is free with prime viewing from the Naval Academy grounds.

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