The Battleship Wisconsin, moored at Nauticus, is celebrating her 75th year in 2019 with “Their Stories. Our History. A Year-Long Celebration,” a series of engaging events that pay tribute to the brave men who served aboard her. The events are designed not only to celebrate her unparalleled history but also to engage the community’s participation in this year-long celebration for its hometown hero.
The Battleship Wisconsin was the largest and last battleship built by the U.S. Navy. She earned six battle stars for service in WWII, the Korean Conflict and the Persian Gulf War, and was once home to nearly 3,000 men. Since arriving in Norfolk in 2000, the Battleship has become an integral and iconic part of the city’s landscape.
“The Battleship Wisconsin is a national treasure,” said Stephen E. Kirkland, executive director of Nauticus. “It’s Nauticus’ extraordinary privilege to be the steward of the ship, but it belongs to the great country for which it served for so many years.”
In addition to a special ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the Wisconsin’s commissioning that took place April 16 – the official anniversary of the Wisconsin’s commissioning in 1944 – the following anniversary events will take place in 2019. Unless otherwise noted, all are included in regular Nauticus admission.
6th Annual Frisky on the WISKY. This popular event on the ship’s fantail benefits Sail Nauticus Academy, an afterschool program for underserved youth run by Sail Nauticus. Tastings from local restaurants, live music and specialty drinks. Details are at sailnauticus.org.
May 18 & 19
75th Anniversary Celebration and Grand Opening of New Spaces. The ship’s medical area, laundry, Chief’s mess and famous “Broadway” sections are among the areas that will open to the public for the first time—doubling the explorable space on the Battleship. An official line-cutting is at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 18. Enjoy free refreshments, hands on crafts, live entertainment a sneak peek at Hurrah Player’s Dames at Sea, plus, meet Wisconsin veterans who served aboard the ship. Daily admission is only $7.50.
Harborfest Celebration. The Wisconsin will be spotlighted during America’s largest and longest-running, free maritime festival.
July 19-21 & July 26-28
Dames at Sea. The Hurrah Players will present Dames at Sea, a 40s-style musical, on the ship’s fantail. Purchase tickets at hurrahplayers.com
Steel Beach Barbecue Classic. This one-of-a-kind event will feature tastings from local barbecue restaurants, craft beer/wine, live music and entertainment. Proceeds support the Wisconsin’s ongoing restoration, preservation and educational programs. Tickets go on sale June 1 at Nauticus.org.
For more information about these 75th anniversary events, visit battleship75.org or call (757) 664-1000.