CHARLESTOWN, Mass. (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to USS Constitution will participate in the 30th anniversary of Boston Harborfest, June 29-July 4.
"This is one of my favorite times of the year," said Cmdr. Tim Cooper, Constitution's 71st commanding officer. "For the entire Harborfest event, we will be showcasing more aspects of the ship's history. Visitors will have the opportunity to see my crew perform a variety of time-honored maritime evolutions they wouldn't normally see during other times of the year, so I look forward to a great turn-out."
Sailors will be performing boarding pike and gun drills pier-side to the ship throughout the festival with sessions at 12 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. For the days of June 29 and July 4, sessions will begin at 2 p.m. The drills will simulate to visitors how Sailors prepared and fought in battle at sea during the age of sail.
"The public really enjoys the show we put on every year we do this," said Aircrew Survival Equipmentman 2nd Class (AW/SW) Jason Keith, boarding pike/gun drill coordinator. "But while it's meant to be entertaining, it's also very important we educate folks just how violent combat at sea was during the age of sail."
Constitution will also host the annual Sunset Parade, July 1. The parade celebrates the connection between Constitution's representation of naval heritage and New England's patriotic heritage.
"This will be my first time participating in the Sunset Parade," said Fireman Jessica Rodriguez. "I was told a lot of people attended it last year. It means a lot to people here. As a Sailor, I'm glad that I'm representing the Navy for the people of New England who are also so proud much of the history to our country's Navy began right here in this area."
Finally, Constitution will wrap up Harborfest by getting underway the morning of Independence Day with its 2011 lottery winners. During the underway, Sailors will exchange a 21-gun salute with Fort Independence on Castle Island and a 17-gun salute to the city of Boston in the vicinity of Coast Guard Station Boston.
Later that evening, Constitution's color guard will also perform in the Boston Pops July 4th concert.
Harborfest is a six-day long Fourth of July festival that showcases the colonial and maritime heritage of Boston. The festival strives to honor and remember the past, celebrate the present, and educate the future with reenactments, concerts and historical tours.
Constitution is located in the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston. She is the world's oldest commissioned warship afloat and welcomes more than 500,000 visitors a year.
For more information on Constitution, visit www.history.navy.mil/ussconstitution or http://www.facebook.com/ussconstitutionofficial.
For more news from USS Constitution, visit www.navy.mil/local/constitution/.