Los Angeles 'Fleet Week' Comes Ashore Labor Day weekend

- Free tickets to tour Navy ships at San Pedro went online today, as the Port of Los Angeles gears up for the first Fleet Week in Los Angeles history this Labor Day weekend.

Tours will be offered on Navy ships on Sept. 2-5 on a first-come, first-served and random basis. Computers will randomly assign ticket holders to one of the ships that will be berthed in San Pedro Labor Day weekend, organizers said.

The tickets are free to the public and available at www.lafleetweek.com.

Visitors can specify the time window, but little else, for their visit. This is the first time Los Angeles is hosting an official Navy Fleet Week, events that have been held from San Diego to Malibu in years past.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Los Angeles Mayor Lt. Eric Garcetti is on Inactive Ready Reserve status as a U.S. Navy intelligence officer. "As a Navy reservist, representing a city and a port with a rich military history, it's an honor to announce the addition of Los Angeles to the Navy's annual Fleet Week roster,'' Garcetti said last November, when the City of Angels won a coveted slot on the Navy's schedule.

"L.A. Fleet Week at America's Port will be a great annual tradition for Angelenos to visit the L.A. waterfront, tour ships, enjoy a variety of activities and gain a deeper appreciation of our enlisted men and women,'' Garcetti said in November.

The Defense Department has yet to assign ships for the event, but in years past has sent a variety of warcraft and support ships to San Diego and other ports celebrating Fleet Week.

Ships are scheduled to arrive at San Pedro the week before Labor Day, with tours available Friday through Monday. Attendees will need to bring a printout of their emailed ticket plus government identification to board a navy ship.

The events will also consider an air show component by Navy and Marine Corps aviators, and evening fireworks.

Los Angeles, San Pedro and Long Beach first hosted Navy ships in 1914, after the completion of breakwaters and dredging of the shallow bay east of San Pedro. The last local Naval base, at Long Beach, closed in 1997, although a small Navy port and munitions depot continues to operate at Alamitos Bay, near Seal Beach.

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