By Nancy Mandell, guest blogger
The fleet is in—or soon will be—and not a moment too soon for anyone who, like me, has been immersed in World War II through “The Pacific,” the 10-part HBO miniseries produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. Add to that, three new episodes of PBS Mysteries’ “Foyle’s War,” just aired, and it’s no wonder I’m excited at the prospect of watching the U.S. Navy vessels that will begin their parade up the Hudson River next Wednesday morning.
This year, four ships will make their way to the reviewing stand at Pier 86 (46th Street and Hudson River Park), home of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, where senior military and political leaders will be on hand to welcome them. The USS Iwo Jima (Pier 88 South), the USCG Katherine Walker (Pier 88 North) and the HMCS Athabaskan (also Pier 88 South) will be open to visitors from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day from Wednesday, the 26th through the holiday weekend. Lines will be capped at 4 p.m. The Athabaskan arrives on May 25th and departs the morning of Sunday, May 30, a day when all the ships will be closed to visitors.
The official high point of the holiday weekend takes place at 11 a.m. Monday when the annual Memorial Day celebration will include a ceremonial wreath laying, a three-volley salute, a flyover of military aircraft in the “Missing Man” formation, and the unfurling of a 100-foot American flag.
The entertainment at the pier promises to be a treat. At noon on Friday, May 28th the ladies in the cast of “Lend Me a Tenor” will host a Broadway showcase that includes performances from “Memphis,” “Promises Promises,” “American Idiot,” “Addam’s Family,” “Million Dollar Quartet” and “Hair.” At sunset, the Intrepid Summer Movie Series launches its 2010 season with “Top Gun.”
At noon on Saturday, you can catch a performance by the Broadway cast of “Wicked.” Stay on for a Tug of War at 12:30 p.m., and a performance by the West Point Jazz Knights Band at 2:30. From 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday night, Miss Babs & the Kickin’ Boogie Band and Reckon So will bring country music to the city. (Beware: Dancing is allowed on the pier!)
Tickets for the Intrepid Museum itself can be purchased at https://tickets.intrepidmuseum.org in advance for specific days.