Baltimore’s Star-Spangled Spectacular drew to a close, Sept. 15, as more than 2,000 Sailors, Marines and foreign military personnel departed the area after successful participation in a week-long series of events celebrating the 200th anniversary of the US national anthem.
Highlighting the week was a special air show from the Navy’s Flight Demonstration Team, the Blue Angels, over Fort McHenry and the Inner Harbor, as well as performances by the U.S. Navy Parachute Team, the Leap Frogs, at various locations around the city.
Visitors also had the opportunity to view Navy divers inside the Atlantic Reef at the Baltimore National Aquarium and Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal units demonstrating the capabilities of their Small Unmanned Ground Vehicles (SUG-V) to assess and conduct surveillance of suspected explosive devices.
The public also had opportunities to visit and tour more than 30 naval vessels and tall ships from the United States, England, Canada, Norway, Germany, Spain and Turkey that berthed at the Inner Harbor, Fell’s Point and North Locust Point.
The signature event’s crescendo, the Star-Spangled Spectacular, included special guests such as President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, as well as two star-studded patriotic concerts and a fireworks display over Fort McHenry and the Baltimore harbor.
U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships participating in this year’s Star Spangled Spectacular included amphibious dock landing ship USS Oak Hill (LSD 51), guided missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), joint high-speed vessel USNS Choctaw County (JHSV 2) and U.S. Coast Guard cutter USCGC Eagle (WIX 327).