Subdued Fleet Week descends on the city

(Credit: Urbanite)

By Heather Haddon

Bring on those white caps and crisp sailor suits.

Thousands of visitors will start strolling into town today for Fleet Week, the six-day toast to America’s naval might that brings in big ships and portside sailors.

Budget constraints have made for subdued festivities this year, with the Navy sending 13 vessels, including three warships that make up the smallest contingent of major combat ships to New York Harbor in the event’s 22-year history. Previously, several nations sent a dozen or more warships from several nations to take part in Fleet Week, but the numbers have dwindled in recent years.

Fleet Week will still feature showstoppers like the freshly renovated Intrepid museum, which is back in the lineup after a two year renovation project, as well as the 40,500-ton USS Iwo Jima meandering up the Hudson River. First-time additions include the missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf and destroyer USS Roosevelt.On tap for his week are dozens of concerts, military demonstrations and ship tours. Here are some of the highlights:

— Today, 10:30 a.m. Parade of Ships sails into New York Harbor to the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum at West 46th Street

— Tomorrow, 9 a.m. Central Park hosts bands, martial arts demos and military working dogs at Fifth Avenue and 72nd Street

— Tomorrow, 11 a.m. The Growler, a retired nuclear-launch submarine, reopens at the Intrepid after an overhaul

— Friday, 11 a.m. The U.S. Coast Guard shows off its aerial landing skills at the Intrepid

— Saturday, 7:30 a.m. The Navy and Marine Corps face off in a tug of war at Rockefeller Plaza

— Sunday, 3 p.m. Military personnel face off in the “Best Chow” competition at the Intrepid

— Monday, 11 a.m. Ceremonial wreath laying, military flyover in the missing man formation and other Memorial Day commemorations on the Intrepid

AP contributed to this story

(Photo courtesy Associated Press)

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