'I got the chills': Fleet Week inspires celebrations throughout San Francisco

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ByKate Larsen KGO logo
Saturday, October 9, 2021
'I got the chills': Fleet Week inspires celebrations throughout SF
From the Marina to the Mission District, Fleet Week celebrations took over the streets of San Francisco Friday.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- From the Marina to the Mission District, Fleet Week celebrations took over the streets of San Francisco Friday.

"It's my birthday and we've been coming since 1982," exclaimed San Anselmo resident, Pam Selvig.

For 39 years, Fleet Week has been a group birthday party for Pam and her friends. The same group, same Crissy Field bench, and same picnic.

RELATED: San Francisco Fleet Week 2021 schedule of events

"All of a sudden I looked at my suitcase and said, 'yeah!' The food and the booze will all fit and there and it's got rollers. We're good," explained Diane Peck, who arranges the food and beverage portion of the party.

And then there's the noise. Not the planes... the ladies' screams.

"I am definitely the loudest screamer," said Pam.

But Montara resident, Mary Pat Dempsey, explained that they scream with purpose.

"The pilots look for us every year, they wave at us. I'm telling you, they look and they wave and we see them!"

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After a pandemic pause, Fleet Week is back, joined by a Giants playoff game, and Warriors game, all in San Francisco this weekend.

But last year the pandemic paused their party, so this year's fly-bys came with some extra emotion.

"I got the chills, I just wanted to cry because I feel so patriotic and I don't know, it's moving, it's moving," said Danville resident, Carrie Paulus.

Also buzzing - San Francisco bars.

"A lot of drinks, a lot of Navy guys will be out with us, the Giants," said San Francisco resident, Nick Hallmark, who was out in Cow Hollow with friends.

"Everybody is out and about, it's just good energy in the city today," said San Francisco resident, Trisha Costa.

VIDEO: Fleet Week: Military ships open for tours in San Francisco

The US Navy opened three ships to the public Wednesday morning in San Francisco for Fleet Week.

"We moved in last year under quarantine, so this is our first true Fleet Week experience," said Michael Jankiewicz. As for the jet noise, he says, "I mean honestly, it's scary!"

In the Mission District, the First Marine Division Band marched down Valencia Street.

Staff sergeant Eric Gonzales is in town from Camp Pendleton. "The spirit of San Francisco is captured through our engagements. You meet wild people, you meet cool people, I've made long lasting friendships through these Fleet Weeks as well. It's just awesome to be a member of San Francisco for the six days that we're here."

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"It's so awesome! Honestly, I haven't felt this much pride in our country in a while," said Manny Yekutial, the owner Manny's restaurant - a civic gathering space. Manny hosted the Marines and explained that it's the first time a Fleet Week event has moved away from the water front, to the Mission.

"This is the beating heart of San Francisco. It's so important that folks in this community and everyone around here actually get to hear this band. So I'm so glad they came here and every year they should come to the Mission!"

And it's only just begun! The festivities continue through the weekend.