Bay Lights Blog

San Francisco Fleet Week Schedule of Events

by Rich Goldman

The anticipation is building! The enormously popular and entertaining San Francisco Fleet Week is right around the corner. Taking place October 1-8, 2018, SFFW was commenced in 1981 when then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein, along with the City of San Francisco, led the nation in celebrating the United States' sea services.

Related Blog: Celebrate The Coming of Fall at San Francisco Fleet Week

Kicking off on the Marina Green over Italian Heritage Weekend, it consists of numerous community shows, events, and breathtaking air shows and parades of ships. All admission is free of charge.

The week has grown to play an important role in the city's culture and economy. Drawing millions of visitors each year and generating over $10 million in municipal revenue, it is considered the "largest and most significant event of its kind," and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Defense as THE model for fleet weeks across the country.  


Monday, October 1

1:00-5:00 pm:  Veterans Resource Fair

  • San Francisco War Memorial Veterans Building Green Room.
  • Opportunity for transitioning service members, veterans and spouses to network with and connect with employers, key community service providers and higher education providers.

4:00 pm:  Guest Appearance and Speech, Major (R) Scott A. Huesing

  • Author of the bestselling war novel, "Echo In Ramadi."

Tuesday, October 2

9:00 am – 6:00 pm:  Veterans Art Exhibit

  • Cannery Galleries at 2801 Leavenworth Street, in the courtyard of the historic Del Monte Cannery complex at the heart of Fisherman's Wharf.
  • Lasts through October 21st.
  • Directed by the Academy of Art University, it showcases works of art created by those who have served our country.

Wednesday, October 3 & Thursday, October 4

10:00 am – 2:00 pm:  Ship Tours

  • S/F Pier 30/32
  • If you've ever been curious about what the inside of a warship looks like, here is your chance!

Friday, October 5 - Sunday, October 7

10:00 am – 5:00 pm:  Humanitarian Assistance Village

  • An interactive demonstration of U.S. Military and Civil capabilities in response to disaster.
  • Includes an educational program for attendees to learn about these abilities. Guided by a "Passport," participants can explore four different themed camps and receive the following stamps: Mass Care and Shelter, Power and Utilities, Community Response and Rescue, and Environmental Management and Decontamination. Those who receive all four stamps will be entered to win a prize drawing.

Friday, October 5

11:30 am – 12:30 pm:  United Airlines Parade of Ships

  • The first U.S. Navy ships enter the San Francisco Bay under the Golden Gate Bridge.

Friday, October 5 – Sunday, October 7

12:00 pm – 4:00 pm:  Fleet Week Air Show

  • Produced by the Air Show Network, several flight performers, including the spectacular U.S. Navy Blue Angels, excite the crowds from the skies over the waterfront.
  • Attracting over a million spectators around the Bay, we would suggest arriving early to get a good (free) viewing spot.
  • Rumor has it that if you hang around until Saturday evening, you might be able to obtain Blue Angels pilots' autographs at the entrance to Pier 39.
  • Performers Include:
    • United Airlines Jet
    • US Coast Guard Rescue
    • S. Navy Blue Angels
    • S. Navy Leap Frogs (parachute team)
    • Patriots Jet Team (stunt jets)
    • Ace Maker T33 (historic jet)
    • Sean Tucker and Team Oracle (stunt plane)
    • P-8 Poseidon military plane (anti-submarine)

Saturday, October 6 – Monday, October 8

9:00 am – 4:00 pm:  Ship Tours

11:00 am – 2:00 pm:  K-9 Heroes:  Bark at the Park

  • Duboce Park
  • Showcases demonstrations by dogs trained in search and rescue, detection, and more.

Monday, October 8

10:00 am – 2:00 pm:  High School Band Challenge:

  • Golden Gate Park Band Shell.
  • The United States Marine Corp Band kicks it off with a performance of patriotic and celebratory music.
  • They are followed by select Bay Area High Schools, who will compete for prize money to support their school music programs.


Great news! You'll love it.

And to ensure everyone has a safe and fun week, the San Francisco Police Marine Unit, the U.S. Coast Guard, and other public safety agencies will be enforcing boating laws on the Bay.   A few things to keep in mind include:

  • Ensure your vessel is seaworthy and has all of the requisite safety equipment on board.
  • Operate your vessel in a safe and responsible manner, following all Rules of the Road.
  • Do not overload your boat.
  • Obey all Law Enforcement Vessels and Fleet Week Restrictions:
  • Anchor only in designated anchorages.
  • Monitor a marine band VHF radio; use channel 16 for hailing and distress only.
  • Call for help if you or others are in distress, watch out for one another, and stay safe.
  • No personal watercraft (Jet Skis) are allowed within 1200' of any San Francisco shoreline.
  • Be cautious while watching events near beaches and waterfronts.
  • For any further information, don't hesitate to contact us

Fleet Week is not something to miss and is a great way to celebrate those who have tirelessly served our country.

So most importantly, ENJOY!

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