BALTIMORE (NNS) -- Three U.S. Navy ships, one U.S. Coast Guard cutter and 28 coalition ships from various parts of the world sailed into the Baltimore Harbor, commencing the 2014 Baltimore Navy Week, Sept. 10.
Throughout the week, more than 2,000 Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen are to attend and celebrate this year's Navy Week, taking place Sept. 10-16.
Baltimore Navy Week, themed "Star Spangled Spectacular", is a 6-day free festival that celebrates the 200th birthday of the national anthem. The landside celebration includes live history demonstrations, a family fun-zone, live musical performances, Chesapeake food and beverage, and ship tours.
"The U.S. Navy ships here this week represent the proud history of service to our great nation that was born from the War of 1812 and that continue today," said Rear Adm. Victorino Mercado, commander, Carrier Strike Group Eight (ESG 8). "The Navy is proud to be a partner of the state of Maryland, while celebrating the birth of our national anthem."
U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships participating in this year's Star Spangled Spectacular include amphibious dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51), guided missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), joint high-speed vessel USNS Choctaw County (JHSV 2) and U.S. Coast Guard cutter USCGC Eagle (WIX 327).
This week is an opportunity for citizens in Baltimore and the surrounding area to meet Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, and to see firsthand the latest capabilities of today's maritime services.
"I feel that this is a great opportunity for us Sailors to visit the Inner Harbor area," said Information Systems Technician 1st Class Quinyon Davenport. "Events like these open up the door to the public to see what the U.S. Navy does along with our coalition partners."
Oak Hill and Leyte Gulf will dock in North Locust Point at pier 4 and 5. Choctaw County and the U.S. Coast Guard signature ship, Eagle, will dock in the Inner Harbor at pier 5 and west wall.
Public visitations of the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships will commence Sept. 11 and conclude Sept.15. North Locust Point ships at piers 4 and 5, as well as Inner Harbor ships are open every day from 12 a.m. to 5 p.m. along with coalition ships located at the Inner Harbor, Fells Point, and North Locust Point piers.
The signature events crescendo on September 13 with two star-studded patriotic concerts and extraordinary fireworks display over Fort McHenry and the Baltimore harbor, which will broadcast live on PBS.
Baltimore Navy Week runs September 10-16, 2014 and is part of the City of Baltimore's Star Spangled Spectacular. This event celebrates the bicentennial of the Battle of Baltimore which provided the backdrop for Francis Scott Key's famous poem, "Defence of Fort McHenry," which later became America's national anthem. More than 30 ships from the U.S. and foreign nations, and the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels aircraft will be on display and open to the public.
For more information, visit the official Baltimore Navy Week Web site at http://www.starspangled200.com or find "Navy in Baltimore 2014" on Facebook.