- Naval Station Everett opened their gates to the public July 3 to celebrate the nation’s freedom with ship tours, food and entertainment. More than 10,000 visited the event. Ship tours of USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) USS Shoup (DDG 86) and USCGC Blue Shark were a big attraction.
Tara Stivers said she really enjoyed bringing her family to the open house event.
“My favorite part of the day was touring USS Shoup,” said Stivers. “My husband used to be in the Navy and served on USS Kitty Hawk, so my kids thought it was neat to see a type of Navy ship. My kids also enjoyed the Kids’ Zone and all the other activities. It was a lot of fun.”
Another guest, Norm Nelson, thought the event was a wonderful experience. “The tour of Lincoln was great. I especially liked riding the elevators. I wanted to see more planes and possible operations though, but I guess I would have to get underway with the carrier for that,” he said.
Ensign Robyn Gerstenslager, Lincoln media division officer, enjoyed having the local community come on base and tour the ship. “I’m really pleased that we were able to share Lincoln with our local community members and give them the opportunity to talk with our Sailors and experience an aircraft carrier,” said Gerstenslager. “At the end of the day we had nearly six thousand people come on board.”
Other events of the day included performances by Navy Band Northwest, the Fire Creek Singers and the Sound Singers on stage in Jackson Plaza.
Everett’s local Independent Public Radio (KSER Radio) played music throughout the event. A Blackjack Flight Demonstration and an EA-18G Growler fly-over provided overhead entertainment, and Valentines Performing Pigs, a Security Dog Demonstration, and the Kid’s Zone (Pony rides, clowns, games, arts and crafts, and bouncy castles) provided must-have laughs.
Gary Ammons thought the security dog demonstration was a delightful surprise.
“I am a dog lover, and the demonstration that the security team at Naval Station Everett put on was fantastic,” said Ammons. “Those dogs are extremely well-trained and a lot of fun to watch.”
Another popular attraction was vintage car show, which consisted of over 90 cars. Larry Doong, one of the show’s organizers, was very impressed and excited about the turnout this year.
“I was very pleased with the turnout and the participants were very happy that it did not rain on their parade,” said Doong. “The best of show was a 1936 Packard, but in my book they were all winners.”
Lt. Cmdr. Aletha Tatge, NAVSTA Everett operations officer and organizer of the open house was pleased the day was a success.
“This was a very well organized event and I am very thankful for everyone’s hard work. The First Class Petty Officer’s Organization in particularly did a phenomenal job assisting with event set-up and take down.”
NAVSTA Everett Commanding Officer, Capt. Michael Coury was grateful for the outstanding participation of the community this year. “It is most appropriate that community and base join on this occasion to celebrate our nation’s independence,” said Coury.
“It is a time to reflect on our freedoms, and on the many who have sacrificed to guarantee those freedoms, both military and civilian, not just for one generation, but for all future generations.”