Anchors aweigh! Area residents get a chance to celebrate their patriotism with members of the U.S. Navy during Chattanooga Navy Week, Saturday through June 19.
Events will take place at various locations around town, many in conjunction with the Riverbend Festival.
"Chattanooga is going all out," said Navy Week spokeswoman Robin Derryberry.
According to www.navyweek.org, each event associated with Chattanooga Navy Week demonstrates the mission and heritage of this branch of the armed forces.
"Chattanooga Navy Week will offer several free activities to help the public experience the wide variety of jobs performed in the U.S. Navy," the website stated.
A highlight will be performances by the U.S. Navy Parachute Demonstration Team, the Leap Frogs, Derryberry said.
"The Leap Frogs are a 15-man team comprised entirely of U.S. Navy Sea, Air and Land Teams (SEAL) and Special Warfare Combatant Crew member (SWCC) commandos," according to the website. "Each member comes to the team for a three-year tour from one of the two Naval Special Warfare Groups located on the East or West coast. On completion of the tour, members return to operational units."
A typical performance consists of 14 jumpers leaping out of an aircraft at an altitude of 12,500 feet, said the website. "During freefall, jumpers reach speeds of 120 mph and can accelerate up to 180 mph by pulling their arms to their sides and straightening their legs into what is called a 'track.' The jumpers typically open their parachutes at around 5,000 feet by releasing a smaller pilot chute, which deploys their main blue-and-gold canopy. After deploying their chutes, the Leap Frogs fly their canopies together to build dramatic canopy-relative work formations."
After performances, the Leap Frogs will meet with the public to answer questions about the Navy and the Naval Special Warfare community, as well as to sign autographs.
"There will be Navy divers at the Aquarium; the Navy band at Alexian Village, the Chattanooga Zoo, and they'll entertain at Riverbend," Derryberry said. "Imax is going to become an art gallery featuring 'Faces of Chattanooga Sailors,' " Derryberry said.
Another highlight is Handcuffs vs. Hoses, a softball game at 3 p.m. Wednesday at AT&T Field between the Chattanooga Police Department and the Chattanooga Fire Department.
"The matchup will provide a much-needed afternoon off to celebrate organizations that have done so much in the aftermath of the recent tornadoes," Derryberry said. "The idea is for organizations and their volunteers to come out and enjoy a game before going to Riverbend."
The afternoon will begin with the Leap Frogs jumping onto AT&T Field with the game ball, which will be given to Vice Adm. Harry Harris to toss out the first pitch. Admission is free.
The nonprofits also will have handouts to provide information about their organizations, Derryberry said.
Navy Week Schedule of events