Fun at Fleet Week
If you want to hang out with men and women in crisp, white uniforms, poke around inside well-armed warships, and witness the spectacle of aerobatic airplanes, then get yourself to Fleet Week, a US Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard tradition that reaches back to the early 20th century. At Fleet Week, active military ships normally deployed overseas dock at a variety of major cities for 1 week. When the ships enter port the crews take shore leave, trailing celebrations, festivals and parties in their wake.
Fleet Week originated in San Diego at the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition, when 114 warships and 400 military planes paraded into port. The fleet included 48 battleships, cruisers and carriers with more than 3,000 commissioned officers and 55,000 enlisted men. Most of them visited the fair, and, in turn, thousands of San Diegans and fair visitors were guests on the various ships.
Several cities on both US coasts hold annual Fleet Weeks. The US Navy also takes its show on the road to inland cities each year. Fleet Week festivities usually include military demonstrations and airshows with the likes of the Blue Angels, as well as guided tours of the ships.