Fleet Week is one of the most time-honored traditions that take place along the Hudson River every year in New York. This year, it starts Wednesday, May 22, 2019, and will go through May 28, 2019.
But what is Fleet Week? The short answer is that it’s a week-long celebration that commemorates the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard by showcasing who they are and what they do in their respective branches.
The City that Never Sleeps Sleeps Even Less
NYC has a reputation as the city that never sleeps. If it were possible, during Fleet Week, there is even more to take in which means if you sleep, you’re probably going to miss out on some festivities.
You’ll find sailors, marines, and coast guards in Manhattan, Staten Island, the Bronx, and Brooklyn. Let’s say you want to go all in and see or do everything that Fleet Week has to offer. To do that, you’re going to want to check out the official schedule of events.
The Highlights of Fleet Week NYC
As much as there is to experience, here’s a summary of some of the best Fleet Week events you can expect.
The Day Before
Gearing up for Fleet Week means that celebrations might start a tad bit earlier, so if you’re around for Tuesday, May 21, then you may consider visiting Staten Island or Manhattan for a fun preview.
On Staten Island, starting at 10 a.m., you’re going to see rope demonstrations courtesy of Navy EOD members and a Sea Combat Squadron during the 2nd Annual Helicopter Landing at Miller Field. Once the presentations are done, helicopters are available for tours, too.
Should you decide to test your strength, you can compete in the “Pull Up Challenge” as well as learning about today’s careers in the military. The entire event is completely free and open to everyone.
If you want to get started later in the day and helicopters aren’t quite your thing, you can also make your way over to Central Park in Manhattan at noon to listen to the Navy’s “Pops” band.
Now It’s Officially Fleet Week
You can’t do Fleet Week without the Parade of Ships down the Hudson River from Battery Park to the George Washington Bridge. It goes from 8 a.m. until noon on Wednesday, May 22, and is free to attend.
Available through Monday, May 27, you can tour several different ships to your heart’s content at Homeport Pier in Staten Island and Pier 88 in Manhattan starting at 8 a.m. The tours are free and available for the public. More tours are available at Pier 86 in Manhattan that are also free, but have a later start time at 10 a.m.
Visit the Navy Dive Tank in Times Square through Saturday and witness firsthand some of the exercises divers practice. You can also play some games with them if you’re so inclined.
The Navy Brass Band also performs several times over Fleet Week. You’ll find them in Times Square at various times of the day. Other exciting demonstrations include the Marines’ martial arts display, the Marine Battle Color Detachment, the Coast Guard Silent Drill Team, and the Coast Guard Search & Rescue demo.
Experience NYC in a Whole New Way
Attending Fleet Week is a different way to enjoy NYC if you’re visiting while the festivities are happening. From baseball games to touring working ships, there is something for everyone.
One of the best things you can do during Fleet Week is to stay somewhere that is within walking distance. The Concorde’s proximity to Central Park makes it a prime location to attend many different Fleet Week events.
Our staff at the Concorde is also extremely knowledgeable about what happens during Fleet Week NYC and can direct you to other events you may enjoy. Feel free to ask our front desk if you need some suggestions.