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Fleet Week begins Wednesday


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Hello, sailors!

The 24th annual Fleet Week New York will seemingly turn the whole city – suddenly teeming with 3,000 sailors, marines and Coast Guardsmen - into a Fred Astaire movie.

You can follow the fleet beginning Wednesday morning when the Parade of Ships plys the Hudson River. There are also ship tours, musical performances and tactical demonstrations of military maneuvers ranging from search-and-rescue operations to ordnance disposal.

Not to mention, you’ll have more than the usual number of people on the street humming a particular “Village People” song.

Fleet Week shows New Yorkers “what the military is all about,” said Bruce Howard, a retired yeoman master chief who assists in the Navy Public Affairs Office. In addition to educating the public about how the various branches of the service perform, Fleet Week demonstrates “where all the tax dollars go,” he noted.

The big draw for ship tours this year is expected to be the USS New York, the amphibious transport dock built with 7.5 tons of steel from the destroyed World Trade Center.

Making her first visit back to New York City since her commission two years ago, the USS New York will be berthed at the Homeport Pier in Staten Island, along with the USS Kauffman, the USS Carr, the USS John L. Hall and the USCGC Katherine Walker. The USCGC Willow and USCGC Tampa and USS and USS Iwo Jima will be berthed in Manhattan on the Hudson.

Women and men who are uniform buffs aren’t the only people who look forward to Fleet Week, said Howard, 65.

“Service members appreciate the camaraderie,” and enjoy the opportunity to “get off ship and relax.”


Wednesday, May 25

Parade of Ships
Kick off Fleet Week with the Parade of Ships sailing up the Hudson River on Manhattan’s west side.
8:30 a.m. – Noon

Thursday, May 26

U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Coast Guard’s Air & Water Demonstration
Pier 86, tickets needed.
10:00 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Friday, May 27

Military Day in Times Square
The event will feature the Navy Band Northeast Jazz Ensemble and the US Marine Corps Band.
9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Broadway Showcase
Music from Jersey Boys, Chicago and Mamma Mia, among other shows will be featured.
Pier 86, tickets needed.
Noon to 1 p.m.

U.S. Coast Guard Band Performance
Pier 86, tickets needed.
4 p.m.

Saturday, May 28

Marine Day in Battery Park
A day of entertainment and outreach.
9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Sunday, May 29

Military Bands in Times Square
Round 2. The Military Bands unite once again in Times Square.
2 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Annual Athletic Competition - Tug-of-War
Pier 86, tickets needed.
2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Monday, May 30

Memorial Day Ceremony and Pier Displays
Witness the unfurling of a 100-foot American flag, a fly-over of military aircraft in the missing man formation on the Flight Deck, and the Gazillion Bubble Show.
Pier 86, tickets needed.
11 a.m.

Visit for a full schedule of events or to buy tickets.

(Events compiled by Shawniquica Henry)

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