As the 35th Annual Fleet Week got underway in NYC, thousands of servicemen and women from the Navy, the Marines and the Coast Guard flooded Times Square in Manhattan.
Sailors and Marines assembled in formation on its famous Red Stairs on Wednesday, before pouring into onto Broadway and posing for photos with the infamous desnudas and other eccentric characters of the area.
The desnudas, or painted ladies, have been congregating around Times Square for a decade and paint their naked bodies in American colors to pose with tourists and visitors for photographs – in exchange for tips.
But the Sailors, head to toe in old-time garb, were not just taking photos with the ladies, they were also seen posing with members of the public who had come out to see them.
Times Square is one of the many spots around the city in which Fleet Week events will be staged through May 30.
Sailors pose with the desnudas of Times Square as the 35th Annual Fleet Week got underway in New York City on Wednesday
A desnuda crosses paths with a gleeful US Navy Sailor on Wednesday during Fleet Week celebrations
A child poses with US servicemembers gathered for a group photo in Times Square on Wednesday. Fleet Week is a week-long celebration of sea services and allows the public to meet Sailors, Marines and Coastguard personnel
Michaela White, a Public Affairs Officer for a US Navy Submarine group, takes a photo in the heart of Times Square on the first day of New York’s annual Fleet Week
Marines on the right and sailors on the left assemble on Times Square’s Red Steps for a photograph commemorating the occasion
Members of the US Navy and Marines gather for a combined group photo in Times Square, during their visit for Fleet Week
Navy Sailors and members of the public interact on the first day of New York City’s annual Fleet Week
Sailors capture pictures of the bright billboards of Times Square as they flood the area during the annual Fleet Week celebration
Since they arrived at Times Square in the summer of 2013, the desnudas have angered more modest members of the Times Square Alliance, a non profit promoting business in the area, as well as bystanders who say they don’t enjoy having them around.
But they have refused to be reined in and continue to parade the streets along with the more famous Naked Cowboy, who is also scantily clad and sports red, white and blue, while strumming a guitar in a cowboy hat and boots.
As some servicemembers gathered in the heart of midtown Manhattan, others congregated between the various ports on the western flank of the island.
Nine ships, including one each from Italy, the United Kingdom and Canada paraded into New York Harbor for the start of the week-long event.
Included on the program are public ship tours, ceremonies and naval and military educational events.
The celebration has been held in New York City nearly every year since 1984. It was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID pandemic and after returning in 2022 it is back in full force in 2023.
A number of events in Times Square this week will offer the public an insight into the day-to-day activities of Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen.
An aerial view of Marines and sailors gathered on the Red Steps of Times Square during their visit to the city for Fleet Week
Marine gunnery sergeant Shakima Deprince, right, from Brooklyn, N.Y., organizes members of the United States Navy and Marines and the Coast Guard for a combined group photo in Times Square on Wednesday
Service men and women gather in Times Square for a group photo during the start of the 35th annual Fleet Week on May 24
A Sailor with a fitting anchor tattoo on their elbow stands alongside colleagues before the beaming advertisements of Time Square on Wednesday
Anthony McGowan, a member of the Royal Canadian Navy, sports sunglasses during a visit to Times Square for Fleet Week
Members of the Canadian Royal Navy also made an appearance in Times Square on Wednesday
A sailor takes a picture from a flag pole in Times Square during the start of the 35th annual Fleet Week on May 24
Between 10am to 5pm on Thursday and Friday, Navy divers will dive in the Navy Dive Tank that’s been instated for the event. Visitors will be able to see their gear, take photos. At 7.30pm on Friday a naval band will perform for two hours.
A host of other free events that will happen around the city throughout the week, including general public ship tours, aviation demonstrations, military band performances, and interactive displays throughout the tri-state area.
Ship tours will also be given between 8am to 5pm starting on Thursday at Pier 88 and 90 in Manhattan and Staten Island Homeport Pier. Visitors can also attend ship tours on Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, along Pier 86, which will run from 10am to 5pm.
Twelve ships that are participating include, the USS Wasp (LHD 1), an amphibious assault ship from Norfolk, Virginia; the USS Oak Hill (LSD 51), a dock landing ship from Norfolk, Virginia; the HMS Scott (H131), an ocean survey vessel from Plymouth, United Kingdom; the ITS Virginio Fasan (F 591), a frigate from La Spezia, Italy.
The HMCS Glace Bay (MM 701), a maritime coastal defense vessel from Nova Scotia, Canada, and the USCGC Warren Deyampert (WPC 1151), a fast response cutter from Boston, Massachusetts, will also be present.
Four US Naval Academy yard patrol crafts (YPs) from Annapolis, Maryland; the USNS Newport (T-EPF 12), an expeditionary fast transport from Norfolk, Virginia; the USS Cole (DDG 67), a guided missile destroyer from Norfolk, Virginia; and the DCV Gelberman, a US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) drift collection vessel from New York.
Additionally, a Fireboat 343, a New York City Fire Department Ranger 4200 class fireboat from New York, and a Tall Ship Clipper City, a gaff-rigged schooner ship operated by Manhattan By Sail from New York.