Fleet Week is a tradition where recently deployed active military ships dock at a city for a week. The crews spend the week exploring the city they dock in and enjoying the tourist attractions while civilians of the city are able to tour the ships and see military demonstrations and air shows. The Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard all participate in the annual event.
How Did Fleet Week Come About?
The very first Fleet Week began in 1935 during the California Pacific International Exposition. During the time between World War I and World War II, the military began to build up in Japan and Germany.
The Great Depression was also happening in the United States at the same time, so citizens were out of touch with the developments that were happening in foreign countries.
But, President Roosevelt wanted to expand the U.S. Navy as a response to political trends, and a major aircraft company was moving to what we know today as the San Diego International Airport.
At 11:00 a.m. on the 29th of May, 1935, in San Diego, California, the first-ever Fleet Week began as the color guard of the Marine Corps led a parade across the Cabrillo Bridge to Plaza del Pacifico. When the parade arrived, the United States flag was raised to open the California Pacific International Exposition.
The celebration, as we know it today, first happened in New York City during the year of 1982, when civilians and troops came together to visit and experience each other’s worlds. Since then, this week has been an annual event that has happened in New York City.
What Is Fleet Week?
This celebration, on the surface, is about connecting the military and civilians of the city and celebrating our troops. Once the troops dock in a city that celebrates Fleet Week, the troops are able to explore the city.
Meanwhile, civilians are able to tour the ships that arrive and watch military demonstrations and aircraft shows. For the service members, this is the first time in a while that they have been outside of the ship, so it is quite an exciting time for them.
During the day, there are family-friendly events where you’ll see many civilians learning more about our military. At night, however, you may see some service members excited to be out and about and living life a little more freely.
There are many major cities that have a scheduled a maritime celebration for our troops. New York City is the most well-known location for Fleet Week; San Francisco, Fort Lauderdale, San Diego, Los Angeles, and many others have this week of celebration, as well.
Fleet Week Schedule
Unfortunately, Fleet Week NYC 2022 just passed over during Memorial Day weekend. The week ran from May 25th to May 31st, and it was the first time in two years that the event was able to happen since the COVID-19 pandemic interfered with the fun. But, there are many other Fleet Weeks coming up in major cities around the country!
Fleet Week 2022 also already happened in Los Angeles, California. The event took place from May 27th to May 30th, just over Memorial Day weekend, as well. LA Fleet Week is also an annual event for the city, where there are many public events to participate in.
San Diego, California, is hosting their events for 2022 in November around Veterans Day. San Diego Fleet Week always has many events and activities to attend during its annual celebration!
San Francisco is another location to celebrate the annual event. This year, the SF Fleet Week is taking place from October 2nd to October 10th. The event has taken place in San Francisco since 1981 and has been held there every year since during the first week of October.
The aircraft show is one of the major events that is taking place on October 7th, 8th, and 9th. The rest of the schedule is yet to be determined, but to get more information on the Fleet Week SF schedule, you can visit the Fleet Week SF website.
Fleet Week has been a tradition for the military and civilians for many years. The annual event allows for service members and civilians to better understand one another and enjoy the other’s cultures.
Suggested read: How the Higgins Boat Helped End WWII