Some of the most highly-anticipated events of Fleet Week will take place this weekend, offering San Diegans and visitors a unique opportunity to pay tribute to the U.S. military.
Starting Friday, Sept. 29, military personnel and their families are invited to the historic Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego for a night full of music and prizes at Fleet Week’s Operation Liberty Call.
A second Operation Liberty Call will occur on Sunday, Oct. 2 at the Imperial Beach Pier Plaza where Chula Vista, National City, East County and Imperial Beach businesses will get a chance to show their support of the military.
Considered the flagship Fleet Week event, the Port of San Diego’s Sea ‘n’ Air Parade, will take place Saturday, Sept. 30 from noon to 2:30 p.m. at the San Diego Bay. The free event draws 100,000 spectators annually to its display of military might.
“This year’s line up includes an aircraft carrier, cruiser, guided missile destroyer, frigate, nuclear submarine, an amphibious assault ship, amphibious dock and platform landing ships, a SEAL support boat and more,” said Lisa Richards, Fleet Week chairman. “The general public can view this truly spectacular parade and participate in the Fleet Week festivities from many spots along the waterfront.”
The best viewing locations include Harbor Island, Shelter Island, the Embarcadero and Coronado.
Also taking place this Sunday, Oct. 2 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. is the Imperial Beach Blast, an oceanfront beach concert. The concert will start with “A Tribute to Local Heroes,” a poignant salute to the military, followed by performances from several local bands.
The public will also get a chance to tour U.S. Navy ships Saturday, Oct. 1 and Sunday, Oct. 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This free event will take place at Broadway Pier, at the corner of North Harbor Drive and Broadway, downtown San Diego.
New to this year’s festivities is a chance for the public to tour the last fully unaltered World War II Liberty Ship in the world, the SS Jeremiah O’Brien, at the San Diego Maritime Museum at the Embarcadero.