BALTIMORE (WJZ) — During Fleet Week, Baltimore is rolling out the red carpet for the visiting crews.
Sail Baltimore is working with local businesses to coordinate events and activities for 2,000 sailors.
“They are ecstatic, and they’re very happy to see a port like Baltimore, which is often a surprise to them,” said Michael McGeady, president of Sail Baltimore.
Crews Sports Day at Latrobe Park in Locust Point was just one of the many events for sailors to get out for some friendly competition.
“It feels really good, like all the work paid off and we get recognized for what we do,” said Mark Faux, USS Jason Dunham.
From basketball to soccer to softball and even cornhole, it’s an opportunity for the sailors to mingle with other crews and the community.
“They really appreciate the military here. We feel really welcome here,” said Faux.
During Fleet Week, sailors get to see the best of Baltimore. Businesses are providing huge discounts, and the water taxi is even giving them free rides.
“To be able to give back to the service men is awesome,” said Billy Hughes, owner of Barracuda Restaurant.
Nearly 100 local businesses are offering specials to sailors and showcasing Baltimore’s rich maritime history.
“It’s really beautiful, all the water and big buildings. I really like it,” said Faux.
Sail Baltimore is also providing free tours to give the sailors the chance to explore Charm City.
“Really wraps all of Baltimore in a big bow, and I think she looks great under the sun,” said McGeady.
Hopefully, it will give crews a reason to return once they’ve had a taste of Baltimore.
“Find out how friendly we are here. That’s one of the things we are — we’re friendly, we’re good people,” said Hughes.
You can meet some of the visiting sailors this weekend during a free tour on their ships.
For a full list of scheduled events, CLICK HERE.