Los Angeles, the vibrant metropolis that merges glamour with a deep appreciation for the nation’s defenders, is abuzz with anticipation as it prepares to unveil Fleet Week 2023—a dazzling homage to the maritime services. Mayor Karen Bass, esteemed Navy officials, and local dignitaries joined forces in an exuberant gathering at the Port of Los Angeles to mark the commencement of this grand celebration. From the momentous opening ceremony to the final crescendo of Memorial Day weekend, a spectacular array of events and activities awaits sailors, Marines, and military enthusiasts alike.
The city of Los Angeles is set to come alive as Fleet Week unfolds its tapestry of activities that will captivate hearts and minds. Picture-perfect concerts will serenade the crowds, their melodies harmonizing with the gentle sea breeze. Aerial flyovers will evoke awe and wonder as military aircraft soar through the cerulean skies, leaving trails of inspiration in their wake. The Port of Los Angeles will be transformed into a living museum, showcasing an impressive array of military equipment and technology—an opportunity for visitors to witness firsthand the marvels that safeguard our nation. Riveting demonstrations will bring adrenaline-pumping excitement, while delectable culinary offerings will tantalize the taste buds. And for families seeking unforgettable moments, an abundance of entertainment options will keep smiles firmly in place.
The heart of this remarkable event beats alongside the legendary Battleship USS Iowa, an iconic symbol of naval strength and valor. Located at 250 S. Harbor Blvd., near First Street in San Pedro, this historic vessel sets the stage for the awe-inspiring displays and showcases that form the core of Fleet Week. Visitors will have the extraordinary privilege of exploring three U.S. Navy ships: the USS Cincinnati, an Independence-class littoral combat ship; the USS Princeton, a Ticonderoga-class cruiser; and the USS Ashland, a Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship. With complimentary public ship tours available between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on a first-come, first-serve basis, enthusiasts can embark on a voyage of discovery, immersing themselves in the world of maritime might.
Before the festivities commenced, City Councilman Tim McOsker, representing the Fifteenth District, paid homage to the U.S. Navy’s Third Fleet, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Army. In a poignant presentation at City Hall, he acknowledged the unwavering commitment and selflessness of these sea service members who stand ready to protect and serve, both at home and abroad. McOsker’s words resonated with the spirit of gratitude and admiration, as he highlighted the essential role played by these guardians of freedom in safeguarding lives and upholding peace. Fleet Week, he declared, provides Angelenos with a platform to express their heartfelt appreciation for the critical work these extraordinary individuals undertake to ensure a safer world.
Councilwoman Traci Park, representing the Eleventh District, added another chapter to the narrative of gratitude and remembrance. In the beautiful neighborhood of Venice, Fleet Week would extend its embrace, culminating in a series of heartfelt events. The day would commence with the placement of 1,000 flags at the Los Angeles National Cemetery—a poignant tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. As the sun bathed the Venice boardwalk in golden hues, a vibrant band performance at Washington Square would provide a melodic backdrop to a community united in celebration and camaraderie. Councilwoman Park, herself the proud daughter of a U.S. Army veteran, encapsulated the sentiments of the occasion, ensuring that the legacy of Memorial Day remains etched in our hearts.
Rear Admiral Robert Chadwick, the esteemed commander of Carrier Strike Group NINE, expressed his fervent anticipation for the imminent Fleet Week celebrations. Having witnessed the city’s remarkable display of honor and support during last year’s event, he confidently declared that Los Angeles has set an exceptional standard—one that is poised to be surpassed this year. With an air of excitement and a touch of pride, Admiral Chadwick’s words reflect the promise of extraordinary experiences that await sailors, Marines, and military enthusiasts at Fleet Week 2023.
As the City of Angels opens its arms to embrace the maritime majesty, it invites visitors and locals alike to embark on a journey of appreciation and awe—a journey that will forever shine a spotlight on the valor and dedication of those who protect our shores.