The Fleet is Back!
To a modern Navy fleet, the ocean is like a super highway and the mighty Columbia River a scenic weekend drive. The U.S. Navy announced this week that after a short hiatus last year, they’re once again taking the scenic route upriver to appear at the traditional Fleet Week for the Portland Rose Festival. The Navy currently plans to send two gray hull ships — and a boat load of top brass — to join in the 2014 Rose Festival celebration!
“I’m thrilled to hear that the financial issues have cleared enough to allow the fleet to make ports of call to events like the Rose Festival again,” says Todd Johnston (Portland Rose Festival Foundation President). “The fleet’s appearance at Portland’s seawall is a long standing tradition for the Rose Festival, and we’re looking forward to welcoming them back.”
Fleet Week fans can expect to see two of the Navy’s finest ships and crew, along with representatives from the Canadian Royal Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard and historically refurbished military crafts at the seawall (located at Waterfront Park, in downtown Portland) from June 4 through June 8 this year.
“The men and women of Third Fleet are very excited to return to Portland this June for Fleet Week at Portland Rose Festival,” says Commander Charlie Brown, Third Fleet spokesperson. “Our sailors look forward not only to enjoying the warm hospitality that the community of Portland always shows the Navy, but also to providing everyone the opportunity to visit Navy ships and learn more about what our Navy does every day around the world.”
Since the beginning of the Rose Festival in 1907, visiting ships and other fleet-related elements (like submarines) have been making their way to Portland’s waterfront and making lasting memories for generations. The City of Portland is known to be a favorite port of call for military (and non-military) visitors — and citizens enjoy making these visitors welcome! One of the purposes of Fleet Week has always been to celebrate and thank the active and reserve military personnel and all veterans.