On Sunday, Fleet Week plugged along with a block party hosted by Sailor Jerry on Pier 84.
Sailors and civilians alike were treated to an afternoon party filled with music, food, drinks, and fun. Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum put on the event in honor of the man the alcohol company was founded for; Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins was a Navy vet who was known for giving tattoos to his fellow sailors. To commemorate the sailor’s tattoo work, a small booth was set up at the block party where guests could get inked on the spot, choosing from designs of a bird, a shark, a cherry, and, of course, an anchor.
The bar was stocked with summertime drinks with names like “High Honor” and “Jerry loves Ginger” and served in tin cups made specially for Fleet Week. So no one was drinking on an empty stomach, Sailor Jerry provided delicious pulled pork sandwiches with Sailor Jerry BBQ sauce that had patrons lined up for seconds. And to keep cool in the hot New York sun, spiked ice cream was the perfect choice for dessert.
Some sailors took time to relax on benches along the Hudson while others crowded along a small table in the tent for arm wrestling competitions with Playboy playmates. Chants of “U-S-A” erupted often; there was no doubt that these servicemen and women are proud to represent their country.
They were not the only ones in attendance proud of their work. The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus arrived on a 1994 Harley Davidson bike to give a toast to the sailors. As he hopped off the custom bike, Reedus replaced his helmet with a sailor cap and spoke from the heart as he told the military members in attendance, “We appreciate everything you do. This one’s for you.” It was a quick toast but he made an effort to take photos with fan and thank sailors individually for their service.
To close the event, band Cage the Elephant gave a performance that kept the crowd dancing and celebrating. The sailors left with high spirits, free Sailor Jerry t-shirts, some with fresh ink and all with smiles on their faces as they made their way off the pier and no doubt to other Fleet Week events to enjoy a bit of fun after all the hard work they put in to serve their country.