In Photos: The 30th Annual Fleet Week in New York City
Every Memorial Day, for the past 30 years, New York City hosts thousands of Navy, Marine and Coast Guard service members for what is famously known as Fleet Week.
The iconic Sex and The City episode may come to mind, but is Fleet Week really all fantastical escapades with locals? The answer is not really — but kind of. With our curiosities abound we took to the streets to interview the men and women of Fleet Week. Why are they really in town? Do they come from overseas and this is their welcome home?
The Navy dominates the weekend with over 2,000 personnel driving in from regional bases and sailing in on three ships from East Coast ports.
German ships reportedly have on-ship nightclubs while British sailors are allowed two beers a day aboard their ships. These sailors though are not without their alcohol as Fleet Week is loaded with discounts and happy hours of free drinking from New York City establishments welcoming the military service members.
Navy Band Concert
Arrived in a USS Ford Escape
Saxophones in the Park
Two saxophonists stationed in Newport, Rhode Island have been performing all over the city since Monday. They travel the world over playing for a variety of audiences and their favorite places have been Cambodia: “We played at a school for children who are HIV positive who have been cast out by society and we went and play and they were just starved for attention. It was great to just play games and dance with them.” They also loved Tonga. “We play for a lot of schools and the kids are really appreciative of not only guests but live music. It was really fulfilling to reach out to them and got to know the US Navy and the US Navy Band.”
From New York and Detroit
Soon to be Sailors
Three Naval Academy students, Alex Piecuch, Jake Murillo and Andrew Peele, stand outside the Oculus on their last day of Fleet Week. They spent their time seeing the Jimmy Fallon show and a Billy Joel concert at Madison Square Garden.
Second Time Around
Fleet Week Made in the Shade
USS Arlington Marines
Sailors Looking to Relax
Short Visits Between Deployments
Sailors Who Shop
Looking for Brick Oven Pizza
Daniel Walters and Edward Crespo from California and Puerto Rico, respectively. They are on the USS Mitscher, based in Norfolk, Virginia. They're looking forward to sightseeing and grabbing a few drinks. Edward did some planning before arriving, and wants to head to John's of Bleecker Street for brick oven pizza. The things that surprised them the most about New York City? “So it kind of surprised me, riding on the train. Like how the people are just in their own little bubble, zoned out, with their earbuds in and like they have no idea what’s going on around them at that minute that they are on the train,” said Crespo. “They don’t interact with each other, it’s just like bubble.” And for Walters, “I knew there was a lot of people but just seeing the masses. It is kind of overwhelming.”