Where did the summer go?
San Pedro’s sign-off seasonal bash, L.A. Fleet Week, arrives this week.
Fleet Week will get a pre-event downtown welcome party at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, ushering in four days of visiting active-duty ships, hundreds of sailors and non-stop activities throughout the Labor Day weekend.
Now in its fourth year, LA Fleet Week — Aug. 30 through Sept. 2 — is hitting its stride. The event brings hundreds of thousands of people to San Pedro’s waterfront for ship tours and to see aerial demonstrations, listen to live music and watch competitions.
This year’s highlights include U.S. Navy parachuters who will drop into the event throughout the long weekend and a free military appreciation concert by Cheap Trick at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30.
It all happens near the Battleship Iowa, 250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro. Parking is available at the Los Angeles Cruise Terminal and in the adjacent downtown area as well as near the S.S. Lane Victory. Free trolleys will take visitors to the event venue.
No bags of any kind — oversized purses, backpacks, diaper bags or camera bags — are permitted. Also no pets (except seeing eye dogs); food, drink or ice chests; skateboards; fireworks.
Here’s the lineup:
- Welcome Party: Music and dancing to honor visiting U.S. Sea Service members arriving on U.S. Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps ships; 6:30 p.m. Thursday at 398 W. Sixth St. in downtown San Pedro; a complementary screening of the classic film “Top Gun” will be shown from 9-11 p.m. at the Warner Grand Theatre, 478 W. Sixth St., San Pedro
- Concerts and Entertainment: Cheap Trick performs at 6 p.m. Friday along with a warmup by the Wing Tips. A Grammy-nominated American rock band from Los Angeles plays on Saturday night along with Fast Times and Soul Sacrifice, a tribute to the sound of Carlos Santana. DJ Miss Ninja will spin classic rock, hip hop and disco on Sunday night along with a performance by award-winning country music entertainer Brent Payne. It’s all free but guests are encouraged to arrive early
- Public Military Ship Tours: Tours will be conducted daily (Friday, Aug. 30, through Monday, Sept. 2) from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis until capacity is reached. No advance registration or tickets are required. Closed-toed shoes are required.
- Navy Leap Frogs and Aerial Demonstrations: New this year will be daily jumps (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., weather permitting) by the U.S. Navy Leap Frogs, the official parachute team of the U.S. Navy and its Naval Special Warfare Command. Dozens of demonstrations also will be given by Navy fighter jets, U.S. Coast Guard Search and Rescue teams and other military and first-responder aircraft.
- Competitions: A new obstacle course will be featured between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily with a Labor Day finale. Dozens of students also will compete at a STEM Expo.
- Special Military Honor: A free vehicle will be presented to the Military Warriors Support Foundation by Wells Fargo and Chevrolet of Montebello at 7:15 p.m. Aug. 30. The foundation also will honor Purple Heart recipient and decorated veteran Carlos Perez, a former U.S. Army sergeant wounded during a tour in Iraq.
- Displays: The Boeing company all offer a STEM (Science, Technology, engineering and Math) Expo featuring a high school robotics competition along with interactive displays and hands-on activities; a Veteran’s Village will feature service organizations providing information, services and hospitality to veterans and their families. A Military Village will feature historic and modern military vehicle and equipment displays and demonstrations.
- Celebrity Meet and Greet: Celebrity chef Robert Irvine will attend on Sunday, Sept. 1, for a reception from 10-11 a.m. Afterward, he’ll judge this year’s Galley Wars presented by Princess Cruises and participate in a question-answer session on leading the food and restaurant industry through technology.
- Conquer the Bridge run: 7-10:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 2.
A full schedule is available at the LA Fleet Week website: lafleetweek.com