By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Nathan Lockwood, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest Public Affairs
PORTLAND, Ore. (NNS) -- Fleet Week came to an end as the three visiting Navy ships departed the Tom McCall Waterfront Park sea wall in Portland, Ore. and began transiting the Willamette River, June 13.
The guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) and guided-missile frigates USS McClusky (FFG 41) and USS Ingraham (FFG 61) were in Portland along with vessels from the Coast Guard, Army Corps of Engineers and the Royal Canadian Navy, in celebration of the 104th Annual Portland Rose Festival.
"It's a nice opportunity that the Sailors can come here and have some fun," said Gladys Stanton, Rose Festival Softball Tournament volunteer.
Stanton also said just being part of something that provides a little payback to the Sailors is her favorite part of the festival.
More than 5,000 visitors toured the Navy ships, allowing the public to interact with and see the character of the Sailors and the capability and quality of the ships. Festivities for Sailors during Fleet Week included several officially-hosted parties, a waterfront carnival, sports tournaments and the Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade.
"It's been outstanding, the support of the public and outpouring of friendliness has been overwhelming," said Cmdr. Ron Candiloro, executive officer of Navy Recruiting District Portland. "Portland Navy Week is the chance the Navy gets to show off and the community really responds to it."
"I think the Navy being able to come out here is good for the community," said Boatswain's Mate 1st Class (SW) Erik Wilkins, assigned to USS Lake Champlain (CG 57). "It also gives the Navy a chance to see how much the community does for us."
The arrival of the USS Charleston in 1907 marked the first visit From a Navy vessel.