Sailors assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) play tug of war with Project Hope children at the Times Square Church in downtown Manhattan for 2017 Fleet Week New York (FWNY).
Blog May 2, 2019

Fleet Week 2019: A Time of Remembrance and Celebration

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May has arrived, and that means it’s just a few weeks until one of the city’s best-loved traditions gets underway.

Fleet Week takes place this year from May 21-27, and as always, the events will offer a mix of fun, learning, and remembrance of those who gave their lives for this country.

“Fleet Week New York is a special time to celebrate and honor the sea and naval services and for New Yorkers to meet Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen,” says JFKIAT President and CEO Roel Huinink. “It is a great way to explore all that the sea and naval services have to offer. We are truly thankful to these brave men and women for their military service.”

This year, nearly 2600 members of the U.S. Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard will come ashore to enjoy sightseeing in New York City. And they’re as eager to meet and talk with you as you are to get to know them.  

Remember: these are family members as well as service members. But military personnel make up less than two percent of the U.S. population, Lieutenant JG Paulet Carson of the Navy Region Mid-Atlantic Public Affairs Office points out: “So as much as I’d like to think that everyone has some kind of connection or tie to a service member, that’s not always the case.” And that makes Fleet Week a time to get to know someone who has chosen military service. 

The week’s events offer ample opportunities to do just that. You can tour ships that will be docked at locations throughout the city, watch martial arts or Silent Drill Team presentations, or see a search and rescue demonstration. If you’re athletically minded, you might join in on a fun run. Or head to Times Square and test your tic tac toe skills against a Navy diver who will face off against you from inside a diving tank. 

Community service is also part of the Fleet Week tradition: visiting sailors, Marines, and Coast Guard members have participated in Habitat for Humanity projects, assembled bicycles, and read stories to children.

Coast Guardsmen, Marines, and Sailors worked with USO volunteers to build more than 400 bikes for service member children.

Credit: Fleet Week New York 

“A lot of service members are New York natives. This is their home town, and they’d like the opportunity to engage with other locals as much as possible in a positive light,” Carson says. “It’s not just, let’s go to New York and have a good time. It’s also, let’s honor the citizens of this amazing city, give back, and give our gratitude and thanks for hosting and welcoming us.” 

With that in mind, after you’ve thanked them for their service, what more can you say to a member of the military? What kind of human interaction and connection are they hoping to make while they’re sightseeing?

“A lot of us are open to stating our why, so to speak,” Carson says. “Thank you is a good ice-breaker. A conversation really can take off from there.”

Whether you live here or are visiting New York during Fleet Week, take a look at the schedule of events and make plans to include some of these activities on your own calendar.

Staff Sgt. Bryce Morgan, with 2D Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force New York, explains how EOD disposes of explosives to a family at Marine Day in Prospect Park during Fleet Week New York 2017, May 27, 2017. 

Credit: Fleet Week New York

2019 Fleet Week Event Highlights

All events listed here are free and open to the public. Remember that events and times are subject to change. Click here for a complete list of events, full details, and the most up-to-date information.

May 21

2nd Annual Helicopter Landing

Miller Field, 600 New Dorp Lane, Staten Island, 10 a.m.–noon

The event includes a fast rope demonstration, opportunities to tour Navy and Coast Guard helicopters and try on gear, and a musical performance by the U.S. Fleet Forces Brass Band. 

Senior Chief Special Operator Bill Brown, a member of the U.S. Navy Parachute Team "The Leap Frogs," poses for a photograph with a young fan at Eisenhower Park in New York during Fleet Week New York.

Credit: Fleet Week New York

Concert by the Navy Band Northeast Pops Ensemble
Central Park Naumburg Bandshell, Noon–1:15 p.m.

May 22

Parade of Ships 

8–11 a.m.
This is the official kickoff of Fleet Week New York. Ships will be visible along the Hudson River from Battery Park to just south of the George Washington Bridge. You can also view the ships from the Fort Wadsworth Overlook (210 New York Avenue, Staten Island). 

Navy Band Concert and Silent Drill Team presentation

South Street Seaport, 12:30–2 p.m.

The band performs for the first hour, and the drill team follows in the final half hour.

Musician Seaman Crissy Villalva, assigned to Navy Band Northeast’s Rhode Island Sound, sings during a free concert in Times Square as part of Fleet Week New York (FWNY) 2017, May 26.

Credit: Fleet Week New York

May 23

Ship Tours

Pier 88 in Manhattan and Homeport Pier in Staten Island, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

A valid photo ID is required for anyone age 18 or older.

Pier 86 (Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum), 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Tours do not require museum admission. A valid photo ID is required for anyone age 18 or older.

Annual Fleet Week Freedom Run
North Cove Marina to 9/11 Memorial Plaza, 8 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
This is a 1.7-mile fun run through the financial district.

Navy Dive Tank 

Military Island, Times Square, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Come by and play tic-tac-toe, see their gear, take photos and learn about U.S. Navy Divers. 

May 24

Ship Tours

Pier 88 in Manhattan and Homeport Pier in Staten Island, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

A valid photo ID is required for anyone age 18 or older.

Pier 86 (Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum), 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Tours do not require museum admission. A valid photo ID is required for anyone age 18 or older.

Navy Dive Tank 

Military Island, Times Square, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Come by and play tic-tac-toe, see their gear, take photos and learn about U.S. Navy Divers. 

NYPD/U.S. Navy Association Remembrance Ceremony and Celebration
NYPD Headquarters Auditorium, One Police Plaza, Manhattan, 10 a.m.–noon

Navy Diver 1st Class Sean Dargie, assigned to Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 2, performs a somersault for a tour group at the New York Aquarium during a community relations event as part of Fleet Week New York 2017.

Credit: Fleet Week New York 

U.S. Coast Guard Silent Drill Team 

9/11 Memorial, Noon–12:30 p.m.
Military Island, Times Square, 2:30 p.m.–3 p.m.

U.S. Marine Corps Martial Arts Program Demonstration
Military Island, Times Square, 3:15–3:45 p.m.

May 25

Ship Tours

Pier 88 in Manhattan and Homeport Pier in Staten Island, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

A valid photo ID is required for anyone age 18 or older.

Pier 86 (Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum), 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Tours do not require museum admission. A valid photo ID is required for anyone age 18 or older.

Marine Day

Prospect Park, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
The event includes interactive and aviation static displays, demonstrations, and a performance by the USMC Battle Color Detachment. 

Navy Dive Tank 

Military Island, Times Square, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Come by and play tic-tac-toe, see their gear, take photos and learn about U.S. Navy Divers. 

U.S. Coast Guard Search and Rescue Demonstration
Homeport Pier, Staten Island, Noon–12:30 p.m.
Watch the U.S. Coast Guard conduct a Search and Rescue demonstration in the vicinity of the water off of the Staten Island Homeport Pier.

Members of the U.S. Navy Parachute Team "The Leap Frogs" perform a down plane formation during a demonstration above Eisenhower Park as part of Fleet Week New York (FWNY).

Credit: Fleet Week New York

May 26

Ship Tours

Brooklyn Cruise Terminal (Red Hook), Brooklyn, and the Homeport Pier, Staten Island, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
A valid photo ID is required for anyone age 18 or older.

Pier 86 (Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum), 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Tours do not require museum admission. A valid photo ID is required for anyone age 18 or older.

Annual Fleet Week Music Festival
Flagship Brewery, 140 Minthorne Street, Staten Island, Noon–6 p.m.
The Flagship Brewery and community members will host their annual music festival in honor of Fleet Week. Local bands scheduled to perform. 

May 27 (Memorial Day)

Ship Tours

Brooklyn Cruise Terminal (Red Hook), Brooklyn, and the Homeport Pier, Staten Island, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
A valid photo ID is required for anyone age 18 or older.

Pier 86 (Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum), 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Tours do not require museum admission. A valid photo ID is required for anyone age 18 or older.

Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Day Observance
Riverside Drive and West 89th Street, 10 a.m.–noon

The annual Memorial Day Commemoration Ceremony at the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument.

Intrepid Memorial Day Commemoration
11 a.m.–1 p.m.
Honor the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice serving in the armed forces. Join hundreds of veterans, representing wars and conflicts from WWII to the present. 

U.S. Coast Guard Silent Drill Team Performance and 

U.S. Coast Guard Search and Rescue Demonstration 

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Pier 86
The Drill Team presentation will take place from noon–12:30, and the Search and Rescue demonstration will take place from 2:00–2:30.

Throughout the afternoon, ships will depart from New York Harbor. This marks the end of Fleet Week 2019.

Yeoman 2nd Class Kourtney Lester, along with other Sailors and Marines, render honors to the Statue of Liberty aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) as the ship transits the Hudson River during Fleet Week New York 2017.

Credit: Fleet Week New York

Header credit: Fleet Week New York

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