After missing four years of in-person festivities, Fleet Week & Flyover Baltimore returns in 2022, and we are excited!
We first experienced Fleet Week in 2016, spending a memorable Saturday in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, but the fun really began a week or so before, at least for J, whose office was in the tallest (at the time) building in the city. He had only been working there for a short time when he was startled one day to hear what were clearly military jets zooming past, complete with sonic booms that rattled the windows and actually shook the building. On the 27th floor, this was quite an experience! And it was several hours before it became clear that no, the country's military jets weren't being scrambled for some crisis; the Blue Angels were practicing for their exhibition flyover planned for the following weekend.
There were Navy ships, tall ships, and pleasure craft everywhere, and military bands entertained the crowds -- which were big enough to feel festive, but not overwhelming or annoying. One of the most interesting things we did was clamber up onto, then into, and through a Coast Guard tug, and imagining what it must be like to live in such close quarters with your shipmates for months at a time!
Growing up in Memphis when the Naval Air Station at Millington was still active, I had seen the Blue Angels many times over the years, so it was hard to figure out, at first, why seeing and hearing their flyover was so strangely disconcerting, until I realized.... i had never seen them in an urban context. Seeing the planes fly their formations over a huge airfield is one thing, but watching those ominous black shadows race across the streets of downtown Baltimore and hearing the jets scream through the skies barely above the tops of the high rise buildings was like something out of a movie, eerily ominous and disturbingly real. Impressive, to say the least!
More information should be out in the next month or two so we'll know what to expect this year, but we've already started scoping out our food options. The last time we went, we went classic with a lunch under the big tent at Phillips for crabs, of course. Now that we actually live in downtown Baltimore and have had several months to compile a list of places we want to try, we're having a hard time deciding, though my current frontrunners are Miss Shirley's and Captain James' Seafood Palace (because how can you *not* want to go to a place that calls itself a Seafood Palace?)
Current information for Fleet Week can be found here: https://www.visitmaryland.org/things-to-do/fleet-week
And on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mdfleetweek/