The 29th annual Fleet Week is continuing in Broward County through the weekend, as Navy sailors participate in community projects and take thousands of people on tours of their ships docked at Port Everglades.
The celebration is meant to showcase the military to residents. In addition to going aboard the Naval vessels, people can attend Navy concerts on Saturday and Sunday. The event coincides with the annual Fort Lauderdale Air Show on Saturday and Sunday.
Fleet Week allows the public to “meet our sailors and Marines and just get a better understanding of what their Navy does day-to-day. And that means a lot,” Rear Adm. Gary Mayes said.
The seven vessels docked at Port Everglades include a nuclear submarine, the USS Farragut, a destroyer, and the USS Hue City, a guided missile cruiser. The USS New York, an amphibious transport dock, and two U.S. Coast Guard cutters are also participating.
More than 6,500 people have registered for the tours, and tickets are sold out, a Navy spokeswoman said. People can explore different areas of the ships during tours, like flight decks and combat rooms.
Orestes Wrves drove up from Miami with his wife on Thursday to visit the destroyer. He said he attends Fleet Week every year and it’s never less exciting.
“The gunnery that they have and the type of missiles they project,” he said, “very very cool. One heck of an experience...It’s worth every minute that you can come here.”
Heather Kellegher, who lives in Fort Lauderdale, has also attended every Fleet Week for the past five years. She said she loves visiting the galley of the ships.
“I love to see how they do everything, how they keep everything clean—all the pots and pans,” she said.
Fleet Week lets visiting sailors and Marines enjoy local tourist attractions and engage in community projects. Some sailors have visited students in school, attended a Miami Marlins baseball game, participated in fishing and golfing tournaments and attended a technology summit.
Ensign Anna Earley said on Thursday she appreciates the visit, considering that she’s spent most of her recent time training at sea.
“It’s been awesome to come down and see the sun...go to the beach,” Early said. “Tomorrow, I’m supposed to go paddleboarding.”
If you are one of the people who could not register to tour a ship, there are still events you can participate in or watch:
- Saturday, May 4: Navy Band Southeast Concert — starts at 7 p.m. at Jaco Pastorius Park in Oakland Park.
- Sunday, May 5: Navy Band Southeast Concert — starts at 11 a.m. at Esplanade Park
- Monday, May 6: Ships depart from Port Everglades from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Separately, the Fort Lauderdale Air Show will go on over Fort Lauderdale Beach on Saturday and Sunday.
You can visit here for more information.