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Fleet Week Big Bay Family Festival is Back to Celebrate Military

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Fleet Week Big Bay Family Festival is Back to Celebrate MilitaryThe public is invited to the second annual Fleet Week Big Bay Family Festival to honor contributions made by the Navy, the Marine Corps and the Coast Guards to the greater communities of San Diego.

The free, public event will be held on Saturday, September 17 and Sunday, September 18, on the Broadway Pier, 1000 N. Harbor Drive (map). Event hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Fleet Week San Diego includes more than 20 events, making it the nation's largest tribute to the military, according to the Fleet Week organizers.

"The bond between the military and the Port of San Diego is strong," said Scott Peters, chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners. "Our port is one of 17 strategic ports in the U.S. that must quickly respond to the operational needs of our military. The military relies on the Port of San Diego, and this is our opportunity — as a community and a region — to thank them for all their hard work and sacrifices."

The public can tour U.S. Navy ships — the USS Rushmore and the USS Princeton — and get a close look at Navy aircraft carriers. Also, there will be in-water demonstrations of a Coast Guard Search and Rescue crew, as well as the Navy's amphibious Landing Craft Air Cushion — a vehicle that is used to transport weapons systems, equipment and cargo from ship to shore and across the beach.

"San Diego is home to the largest concentration of military in the world," said Executive Director of the San Diego Fleet Week Foundation Alexandra Squires. "What better way to learn more about our Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard than to gather your family and friends and bring them down to the beautiful bay to a free, family-friendly event in America's Finest City."

The Port of San Diego is sponsoring the Big Bay Family Festival through its Marketing and Fee For Service Program. The Board of Port Commissioners approved funding in the amount of $25,000 to help facilitate this event, as well as other programs for the Fleet Week Foundation throughout the year.

The USS Midway Museum is offering free admission to the museum to festival attendees who stop by the Midway exhibit on Broadway Pier (map) on September 18 and 19. The offer is limited to one ticket per person and may be redeemed for a future visit.

Last year, approximately 14,000 visitors attended the Big Bay Family Festival. The festival is part of the 17-day Fleet Week event that recognizes and honors heroes of the military.

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