The tail end of Indian Summer in San Francisco, October brings lots of great events to the city leading up to San Francisco Halloween at the end of the month. One of the best events of the year takes place during the second week of October, Fleet Week San Francisco. The week long series of events, leading up to the climactic airshows, is a celebration to honor the Marines, Sailors and Coast Guard who serve the country.
The concept of Fleet week dates back to 1935 during the California Pacific International Exposition that took place in San Diego. During the event, 400 military planes, 114 warships and 48 battleships, aircraft carriers and cruisers arrived in San Diego along with 55,000 enlisted men and 3,000 Officers. Although the debut Fleet Week was meant to show the public the expansion of the U.S. Navy and was considered a one-time event, it became the birth of the current Fleet Week that takes place in many cities across the nation.
The San Francisco version of Fleet Week arose from the common practice of Navy ships docking in San Francisco for smaller events. Although this happened for years, in 1981 over Columbus Day Weekend, the common event became more organized and officially took on the name “Fleet Week San Francisco” and became an annual event.
San Francisco Fleet week includes several major events including the Parade of Ships, Ship Tours, Meeting the Blue Angels Pilots, Fleet Week Cruises and the two-day airshow featuring the Blue Angels over the weekend.