Fleet Week sets sail with parade of ships in New York Harbor

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Sandra Bookman has more from the West Side. (WABC)

Fleet Week 2015 kicked off Wednesday with the parade of ships in New York Harbor.

Three U.S. Navy ships, four U.S. Naval Academy yard patrol boats, and two U.S. Coast Guard cutters participated, and service members stood at attention as the parade made its way north up the Hudson River. The journey was as majestic as ever as the vessels passed under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and along Manhattan's West Side.

The crowd along the shore was smaller than in years past, but no less enthusiastic.

While the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum will, as usual, be the epicenter of Fleet Week activities, many of the visiting ships will be docked nearby and open for public tours.

The ships could be seen along the Hudson River from Battery Park to just south of the George Washington Bridge.

More than 1,800 servicemen and women attended, and activities and events will last through next Monday.

Fleet Week New York, now in its 27th year, returned in 2014 after a one-year absence.

The week-long celebration is the city's time-honored celebration of the sea services, and a chance for citizens to meet sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen.

In addition to public visitation of participating ships and military band concerts, there will be numerous exhibits and aviation demonstrations throughout the week showcasing the latest technology of the maritime services.

The usually annual celebration of America's sea services wasn't held in 2013 because of the government shutdown and federal budget sequester that hampered spending.

The event costs the Navy several million dollars spent on docking fees, fuel costs, security, hotel rooms and transporting large ships and aircraft to New York.

Fleet Week events include ship tours, parades and aerial demonstrations.

For up-to-date information on all Fleet Week events, visit the official Fleet Week New York website at FleetWeekNewYork.com.

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