Representatives from the State of Maryland, Baltimore City, U.S. Navy and Historic Ships in Baltimore announced Maryland Fleet Week and Air Show Baltimore, a celebration of the rich naval traditions of the Chesapeake Bay and the contributions of Marylanders to the defense and prosperity of the nation. Maryland Fleet Week and Air Show Baltimore will take place October 10-17, 2016 in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and Martin State Airport.
“Maryland has a long and proud tradition of naval aviation and seamanship, a tradition in which generations of Marylanders have served in defense of our nation,” said Governor Hogan. “Maryland Fleet Week will celebrate Maryland’s long-standing partnership with the U.S. Navy, showcase the Navy’s prowess on the sea and in the air, and offer a variety of family-friendly events and activities for all to enjoy. We’re very pleased to welcome the U.S. Navy and international navies, and hundreds of thousands of visitors, for what promises to be an outstanding experience.”
Dozens of gray hulls, vessels and schooners from the U.S. and international navies are expected to line Baltimore’s famed Inner Harbor during the week, bringing thousands of sailors to the region. Vessels participating in the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner race will begin arriving to Baltimore October 10, and join in a parade of sail around the Inner Harbor on the evening of October 12 before casting off for the race down the Chesapeake to Portsmouth on October 13.
“Baltimore is honored to be one of seven elite cities selected to host a Navy Fleet Week,” said Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “We are looking forward to welcoming the Navy vessels and schooners to Baltimore in October to celebrate our city’s rich maritime heritage.”
Furthermore, the commissioning of the USS ZUMWALT will take place on October 15. Named for Admiral Elmo “Bud” Zumwalt Jr., the USS ZUMWALT, DDG1000, is the most powerful, technologically-advanced United States destroyer in our history. This ship is the first of its class and introduces major innovation in ship design, a stealth profile, tumblehome hull, and long-range weaponry.
The Navy’s famed Blue Angels flight demonstration team is scheduled to perform above Ft. McHenry and Baltimore’s Harbor October 15 and 16. The air show will feature nearly two dozen aviators in total. A free festival village, including meet-and-greets with pilots, will take place at Martin State Airport in Baltimore County. In addition to this air show, the Blue Angels will perform in Maryland on October 29 and 30 at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River Air Expo.
“A key component to a strong nation is a strong Navy and Marine Corps. Fleet Week gives us an opportunity to showcase this to the state of Maryland,” said Rear Admiral Yancy B. Lindsey.
“The Fleet Week provides an opportunity for the citizens of Maryland to meet our Sailors and Marines and Coast Guardsmen, as well as see firsthand the latest capabilities of today’s maritime services,” said Rear Admiral Roy J. Kelley. “It’s an opportunity for us to educate the public on our capabilities by showing them our ships and allowing the community to talk to our people.”
Additional activities throughout the week will include free on-board public tours of ships October 13-16, a Chesapeake-inspired Seafood Festival October 16, official visits by international dignitaries and Navy leadership, crew sporting competitions, community service projects, educational activities, musical entertainment and much more. Maryland Fleet Week and Air Show Baltimore is expected to bring hundreds of thousands of visitors to Baltimore and the region and contribute to the economy through increased hotel bookings and spending at restaurants, shops and retail outlets.