1:24 PM, Sep 13, 2012
BUFFALO, NY – Ships from the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy are visiting the Buffalo waterfront.
Navy Week runs in conjunction with the commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812.
Photo Gallery: Navy Week in Buffalo
The sight of so many Sailors and other active military in downtown Buffalo is an unusual site.
And Buffalo is quite a change of scenery for Navy Commanding Officer Joe Thomas.
He tells 2 On Your Side his crew is usually stationed off the coast of Somalia.
“It’s a totally different mission. It’s something we’re glad to do. This ship was chosen to come up here as a duty of the Great Lakes crews, you know, celebrating the war of 1812. So that’s what we’re trying to do… just trying to spread the word, let them know what the Navy’s all about,” says Thomas.
Free tours of the visiting ships will be available until Sunday. A parade of ships/boats begins Thursday afternoon at 3pm at the Waterfront.
Wed. September 12 – Opening Day
- 3 pm – Buffalo Navy Week Opening Ceremony & Press Conference at Canalside Stage:
The Brig Niagara tall ship will arrive on the afternoon of September 12 at Canalside, adjacent to the Naval Park.
Welcoming remarks from Park, Navy, and local dignitaries, and the singing of the U.S. and Canadian national anthems. Cannon fire will begin the “Greet the Fleet” Boat Parade. This ceremony is free to the public.
- 3-5 pm – “Greet the Fleet” Boat Parade in Buffalo River at Canalside: Up to 100 local boats, led by the Edward M. Cotter Fireboat, will gather in the Outer Harbor, then parade down the Buffalo River in a salute to the visiting sailors. The registration fee is $50 per vessel. Registration includes admission for two people to the “Greet the Fleet” Welcome Party at the Park. If you don’t have a boat, you can ride the Miss Buffalo in the parade for $35 per person. Call (716) 847-1773 for info.
- 5:30-7:30pm – “Greet the Fleet” Welcome Party at Naval & Military Park:
Welcoming the 600 visiting sailors. Public Admission is $25 per person.
- Sat. September 15 at 2-3pm – Veteran Appreciation Awards at Naval & Military Park: This annual ceremony honors an individual and an organization that have made significant contributions to the Western New York veteran community. Event is free to the public.
- Sun. September 16 at 7-9:30 pm – 1812 Bicentennial Gala at Naval & Military Park: The Grande Finale of Buffalo Navy Week will be an elegant cocktail party with food, drink and music. The evening will close with a band concert on the Central Wharf. Tickets are $75 per person and $125 per couple.
- Ongoing – The Naval Park’s new War of 1812 museum exhibit – currently showing.
Naval Park website: http://www.buffalonavalpark.org