U.S. Navy participates in Norfolk’s 36th Annual Great American Picnic

NORFOLK, Va. – The city of Norfolk’s 36th Annual Great American Picnic Wednesday, July 4 will feature U.S. Navy participation in honor of the country’s 242nd birthday.

The guided-missile cruiser U.S.S. Monterey (CG 61) will arrive in Downtown Norfolk, Tuesday, July 3, to participate in the annual celebration.  The crew of Monterey will man the rails of the ship when she arrives in the Norfolk Harbor around 1 p.m., offering a unique view for visitors as she transits the Elizabeth River. The ship will moor behind Nauticus and the crew will host the general public for free tours on Wednesday, July 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Homeported in Norfolk as the Navy’s 16th Ticonderoga class guided-missile cruiser, Monterey was commissioned June 16, 1990.  It was designed and built to fight in a multi-threat environment defending the battlegroup against hostile aircraft, cruise missiles, and submarines.

On May 6, the ship returned from a seven-month deployment to the 5th and 6th Fleets areas of operation.  For this crew of more than 300 sailors, “Rough in Battle, Ready in Peace,” is more than just the ship’s motto.  During their deployment, the crew took decisive action in firing 30 Tomahawk missiles into Syria, from the Red Sea.

Additionally, the U.S. Fleet Forces Band will perform free for the public in Town Point Park. The popular music group Four Star Edition will entertain audiences with a high-energy show covering a wide range of music from classic hits to today’s rock, pop, hip hop and country tunes from 6:30–7:30 p.m. on the Main Stage.

Beginning at 8:15 p.m., the U.S. Fleet Forces Band Wind Ensemble will perform a free concert featuring patriotic favorites prior to the fireworks show at 9:30 p.m.

Visitors to Monterey should wear comfortable clothing and flat, closed-toed rubber-soled shoes. Ships are considered an industrial environment and guests are encouraged to avoid dangling jewelry, open-toed sandals or high-heels. All bags and camera cases will be searched prior to entering.

Adult visitors over the age of 18 will be required to show a valid state or federal-issued picture I.D. Tours may not be appropriate for small children or those with certain medical conditions, as there are steep ladders to climb and uneven surfaces to traverse during a ship tour.

The following items are not permitted aboard the ship: electronic smoking devices; glass containers; banners, posters or signs of any type; mace, pepper spray, or other defensive sprays or chemicals; knives, firearms, fireworks or any explosives; illegal drugs or paraphernalia; flammable liquids or aerosol spray cans; club weapons; and animals (except approved service animals). All electronic devices are subject to examination for functionality. The U.S. Navy reserves the right to prohibit other items not listed above.