Attracting upwards of a million people annually, San Francisco Fleet Week pays homage to our nation’s armed forces and includes both a parade and tours of ships, extensive military displays, the interactive and educational Humanitarian Village and the piece de resistance, an exciting air show featuring the Blue Angels.
Fleet Week began in 1981 when (then) Mayor Diane Feinstein led the United States in celebrating our nation’s oceanic military services. For 34 years since, Fleet Week occurs each October and has grown to be the largest event of its kind that couples training and education, bringing both military and civilian personnel to share knowledge and experience in emergency disaster response and humanitarian assistance efforts. The San Francisco Fleet Week is acknowledged by the Department of Defense as the standard that all other fleet weeks across the United States are measured against.
Fleet Week Events
At the Pier 80 Maritime Village, four Navy and Coast Guard vessels and their crews will be docked along the Embarcadero, allowing thousands to board and get a behind the scenes look at how the men and women who serve aboard these ships live day to day. Ship tour information, dates and times can be found here. The parade of ships is Friday, October 9th from 11am to 12:30pm.
Held at the Marina Green, the Humanitarian Village is a collaborative demonstration of how our military and civilian organizations are equipped to respond to disasters. This educational program is guided by a “Passport” in which participants are encouraged to investigate four sites: Mass Care and Shelter, Power and Utilities, Community Response & Rescue, and Environmental Management & Decontamination. After making their way through each section, visitors receive a stamp in their passport. Those who turn in completed passports are entered into a drawing to win prizes.
One of the main attractions is the breathtaking air show in which the United States Navy Blue Angels along with the Navy Leap Frogs, United Airlines, the United States Coast Guard and other performers dazzle spectators with awe-inspiring and death-defying tricks. The show takes place from 12:30 to 4pm on October 9th, 10th and 11th and tickets can be purchased online.
One of San Francisco’s main tourist attractions, PIER 39 joins the Fleet Week celebration with an assortment of activities including the popular Blue Angels Meet & Greet and on-going live entertainment featuring a number of military band performances. For more information on the Pier 39 festivities, click here.
The 34th annual San Francisco Fleet Week event runs October 5-12th with events kicking off Thursday the 8th. For complete information about Fleet Week, visit the official website.