- CHARITY BENEFIT
This is the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 and the writing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” To mark this historic occasion, the first OpSail extravaganza since 2000, and the sixth overall, will commence on May 23rd as seventeen tall ships sail into the Hudson along with 10 U.S. and foreign vessels. The first was in 1976 to celebrate the U.S. Bicentennial. The nautical extravaganza will mark the beginning of OpSail 2012 and Fleet Week New York.
Starting a little after 8 am, first up is the 370-foot schooner, a training ship for the Royal Spanish Navy, the Juan Sebastian de Elcano. Leading the flotilla under the Verrazano Bridge and up the Hudson River to the George Washington Bridge, she is followed by tall ships from Indonesia, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, France and other countries. America joins in with a parade of military ships led by the Eagle, a U.S. Coast Guard cutter. An aerial fly-over will be led by the Navy’s famed Blue Angels and military aircraft from other countries and is sure to get our attention.
During the weeklong festivities that follow the parade, part of the fleet will be docked at the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in Manhattan. Visitors are allowed to jump aboard free of charge, so all hands on deck.