NEW ORLEANS - To commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812, thousands of sailors and some huge ships are in town for New Orleans Navy Week.
Civilians can get a peek at these giant boats throughout the week that is celebrating the nation's sea services.
The week-long event will include air shows, flights by the Blue Angels and events at the Chalmette Battlefield. Many of the ships in town are likely to be the main attraction.
The event, which is the first of four years of festivities around the country, got underway Tuesday with a parade of tall ships and modern navy ships sailing up the Mississippi River into the Port of New Orleans.
The flotilla stretches from the Crescent City Connection Bridge to the Esplanade Street Wharf.
There are 3,000 sailors taking part in Navy Week, and they said New Orleans is the perfect host city to begin and conclude the event.
"The Navy is celebrating the War of 1812. New Orleans is the first port visit of 14 port visits. The reason we're picking New Orleans is because of the significance of the War of 1812 to New Orleans. We're actually gonna finish in 2015 with a port visit here to celebrate or commemorate the Battle of New Orleans in 1815," said U.S. Navy Cmdr. Tim Riegle.
The ships will be open to the public in the afternoons through Sunday from noon until 7 p.m.
There are quite a few events scheduled for Wednesday. There are two Coast Guard Band concerts. One of them kicks off at 2 p.m. at Preservation Hall and the other is at 4:30 p.m. at the Old U.S. Mint. At 8:30 p.m., there is a fireworks show at the riverfront. Mayor Mitch Landrieu will welcome commanding officers at a ceremony.