Every year for a week in the springtime, over 2,000 sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen come to South Florida to meet the public, participate in charity work, and unwind and have a little
R&R time. For the past 25 years, springtime in South Florida has meant Fleet Week, and it’s almost that time again for the locals to welcome the men in uniform once more. The 25th annual Fleet Week Port Everglades, presented by Humana and Broward Navy Days, will arrive on Monday, May 4 and will be in town all week, pulling out of port on Sunday, May 10.
The week starts with a special “all hands on deck” welcome party, which begins at 6 p.m. on Monday, May 4 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood. Be sure to attend and welcome all the servicemen and women to South Florida!
One of the most anticipated events during Fleet Week is the opening of the ships to the public for guided tours. This kicks off on Tuesday, May 5 and goes on through Saturday, May 9. The ships that will be sailing to South Florida this year are the USS Wasp, the USS Cole, the USS James E. Williams, and a Virginia-class submarine (as of yet unnamed). On these ships are servicemen and women from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; Norfolk, Virginia; and Jacksonville, Florida. Sailors from the Navy Operational Support Centers in Miami and West Palm Beach will also participate in Fleet Week. Over 12,000 people toured the ships last year, so it is imperative to reserve your spot early. You can do so by going to browardnavydaysinc.org/ship-tours and selecting the date you’d like to tour the ships.
On Tuesday, May 5, there will be a number of Fleet Week events that will be open to the public. First there is the annual Fleet Week Golf Classic, which will be held at the Fort Lauderdale County Club at 7:30 a.m. To register, visit browardnavydaysinc.org. There will also be a special Salute to Veterans at 11 a.m. at Independence Hall in Wilton Manors. Join the United States Navy Band Southeast for a concert at 7 p.m. at the Pompano Beach Amphitheater. They will also perform the next night at 7 p.m. at ArtsPark in Hollywood.
Other fun events open to the public include a ping pong tournament, featuring men and women in uniform who are vying for the title of best player at Fleet Week! This event will be held on Saturday, May 9 at 1:30 p.m. at 2extremepong in Dania Beach. At 6 p.m. on that same day, the popular Galley Wars event will pit over 30 galley cooks from a variety of United States Navy and Coast Guard ships against each other in a quest to see who is the best cook in the United States military. This event will be held at Hugh’s Culinary, located at 4351 NE 12th Terrace in Oakland Park.
The mission of Fleet Week Port Everglades, as envisioned by Broward Navy Days, Inc., is to provide residents of South Florida with a better understanding of today’s high-tech military and how sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and others use this technology to protect American lives and interests not just in the United States but also abroad. Broward Navy Days, Inc. not only organizes Fleet Week but also plays host to ship commissioning ceremonies, change of command ceremonies, and the yearly Pearl Harbor memorial service at Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale. Money raised by Broward Navy Days, Inc. goes to Fleet Week and the aforementioned year-round services they provide. If you are interested in donating directly to Broward Navy Days, visit browardnavydaysinc.org/donate.
Humana and Broward Navy Days present Fleet Week Port Everglades each year. Sponsors include, but are not limited to, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hollywood, Guy Harvey, Nova Southeastern University, Port Everglades, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Fort Lauderdale, Community Blood Centers of South Florida, Eye on South Florida, Water Taxi, and the Sun-Sentinel.
To learn more about Fleet Week Port Everglades, visit browardnavydaysinc.org.