Maryland Fleet Week returns: Here’s what you need to know

Published on: September 09, 2022 6:26 PM EDT|Updated on: September 11, 2022 10:42 AM EDT

A large twin-hulled transport ship docked between two piers in Baltimore's harbor.

Flyovers, festivals and a fleet have returned to the Baltimore area for Maryland Fleet Week, the first since 2018. Running now through Sept. 13 at the Inner Harbor, Fells Point, Locust Point, Fort McHenry and Martin State Airport, multiple military ships will dock for many to gather and celebrate the region’s naval contributions.

Visitors will be able to board both foreign and domestic vessels and watch flyovers from historic planes by the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.

What is Maryland Fleet Week?

The biennial celebration, Maryland Fleet Week, first began in 2016 to commemorate active U.S. Navy and Marine Corps recruits, officers, sailors and guardsmen, said Chris Rowsom, executive director of Historic Ships in Baltimore, the organization that manages five Inner Harbor naval artifacts.

“This week is all about the Navy introducing themselves to the general public. Most of the time their work is done over the horizon — we don’t get to see it — so it’s a really unique opportunity for everyone in Baltimore to meet the young men and women, to meet the people who are serving our country,” Rowsom said.

An estimated 300,000 people attended Fleet Week during its seven days in 2016 and about 200,000 in 2018, according to Rowsom. Although he is unsure about the number of people who will attend this year, he believes more may come out.

“We’re not quite sure what the response will be this year post-pandemic, but we’re expecting even greater foot traffic this time around,” Rowsom added.

Historic Ships in Baltimore is the steward of two historic U.S. Navy vessels: the US Sloop-of-War Constellation, and the USS Torsk submarine.

Northrop Grumman, an aerospace and defense company with several facilities in Maryland, is the lead sponsor for the event.

“The capabilities we deliver to the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard from here in Maryland are at the heart of the most extraordinary systems in the world — and for the next several days you can experience some of them right here in Baltimore during Fleet Week,” wrote Brandon White, a vice president at Northrop Grumman, in an email.

Activities

Participating ships are from the U.S., Great Britain, Canada and Denmark. All tours are free to the public and will be offered from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. everyday through Sept. 12.

Inner Harbor:

  • West Wall South — USS Minneapolis Saint-Paul (LCS 21)
  • West Wall North — Tall Ship Danmark (Denmark)
  • Pier 1 West — USS Constellation
  • Pier 1 East — HMCS Moncton (Canada)
  • Pier 3 West- US Light Ship Chesapeake/USS Torsk
  • Pier 4 North- USCGC 37
  • Pier 5 West- USNS Newport (T-EPF 12)
  • Pier 5 South- USCGC James Rankin

Port Covington:

  • USS Carter Hall (LSD 50)
  • USACE Reynolds debris removal vessel
  • USACE Catlett survey vessel

Fells Point:

  • Broadway Pier East — HMCS Glace Bay (Canada)

Canton:

  • Pier 13 — S.S. John W. Brown

North Locust Point:

  • Under Armour Pier — HMS Richmond (Great Britain)

The Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 2, Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 1, Fighter Squadron Composite Twelve (VFC-12), Training Air Wing 4 (TW4), Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadrons 14 & 15 (HM-14; HM-15), and Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365 (VMM-365) are among the flyover units, according to the U.S. Navy.

The weeklong celebration will also offer three festivals featuring live performances, exhibitors, food, hands-on children’s games, meet-and-greets with pilots and officers and more, at the following locations:

  • Baltimore’s Inner Harbor West Shore Park: Sept. 9-11 from 11 a.m. through 7 p.m., 401 Light St., Baltimore, Maryland.
  • Port Covington: Sept. 10-11 from 11 a.m. through 7 p.m., 321 E. Cromwell St., Baltimore, Maryland.
  • Martin State Airport Open House: Sept. 10-11 from 9 a.m. though 4 p.m., 701 Wilson Point Road, Middle River, Maryland.

All the ships will set sail to leave Baltimore throughout the day on Tuesday. Some of the best places to view their departure include Federal Hill, Fort McHenry and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis.

This story has been updated to reflect Maryland Fleet Week is a biennial celebration.

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