CHARLESTOWN, Mass. (NNS) -- USS Constitution will officially open its 2012 lottery program to the public from the ship's berth in Charlestown, Mass. March 1.
The lottery drawing selects 150 winners to ride Constitution for her annual July 4th turnaround cruise.
"It is always a great to show Constitution to the public, but especially during a turnaround cruise and the lottery allows us to do that in a fair manner," said Cmdr. Matt Bonner, Constitution's 72nd commanding officer. "And this year's cruise has the added bonus of the Coast Guard Barque Eagle joining us and the Blue Angels flying over both ships -I cannot think of a better way to celebrate Independence Day."
After the drawing, winners will receive a ticket signifying their selection and eligibility to embark. Tickets are non-transferrable to other individuals with no exceptions. Winners will also be allowed to bring one guest, and all winners and guests must be in good health and be between the ages of 8 and 70.
Entries can be made by completing the entry form and returning it by e-mail or mail. The lottery will close April 27, and the drawing will be held April 30.
"I think this is a great opportunity for the public to be a part of this ship's great history," said Logistics Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Johnny Janica, Constitution. "It's a great way to see our mission here on Constitution. Along with it being a special time for the ship, this year marks the bicentennial of the War of 1812."
The July 4th turnaround cruise celebrates the nation's birthday with a salute to the nation by Constitution firing a 21-gun salute exchange with Fort Independence located on Castle Island. The voyage is about 4.5 miles total, typically lasting three hours.
To enter the lottery or for more information on the lottery program, visit http://www.history.navy.mil/ussconstitution/Lottery.html.
Constitution is the world's oldest commissioned warship afloat. She defended the sea lanes against threat from 1797 to 1855, much like the mission of today's Navy. Constitution's mission today is to offer community outreach and education about the ship's history, as it welcomes more than 535,000 visitors per year.
For more information about Constitution, visit www.history.navy.mil/ussconstitution or www.facebook.com/ussconstitutionofficial.
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.
For more news from USS Constitution, visit www.navy.mil/local/constitution/.