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USS Ronald Reagan Events Schedule Set

Public invited to help fete carrier crew with barbecue, dances, games and concerts.

The Santa Barbara Navy League on Friday announced the official schedule of next weekend’s events celebrating the port call of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). Local residents are invited to help honor and entertain the crew during a barbecue dinner and dance, a Navy flyover and at an Arlington Theatre concert featuring the famed band, Blues Traveler.

The Jan. 11-13 visit marks the second time the carrier has dropped anchor in Santa Barbara, where the Santa Barbara Navy League serves as the crew’s official sponsor. Word from the ship is that crewmembers are eagerly awaiting the stopover.

“We spend so much of our time away from home, in ports across the U.S. and overseas,” said Lt. Ron. Flanders, the USS Ronald Reagan spokesman. “This Santa Barbara visit has become a homecoming of sorts.  We feel so welcome here and the crew gets some much-needed R&R in one of the most beautiful cities on the West Coast.”

Navy League president Karen Crawford said the Welcome Weekend festivities allow locals to show their support of the carrier’s crewmembers and continue a tradition of hospitality that characterizes the South Coast.

“It’s not a coincidence that Santa Barbara is one of the most visited cities without a major port in the United States,” Crawford said.  “This community truly comes together to greet our naval guests with warmth and open arms.”

In 1908, Santa Barbara celebrated the arrival of 14,000 crewmembers of President Theodore Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet with parades and flower performances.

“Over the years the welcome events have evolved with the times,” Crawford said. “Yet fun, appreciation and celebration continue to serve our theme with theses scheduled festivities.”

The Navy League is offering special all-access media passes to school newspaper reporters.  Interested reporters are encouraged to contact Sylvia Uribe at 805.961.8335.

Official Welcome Weekend events include:

Barbecue Dinner and Dance at the Carriage & Western Arts Museum, 129 Castillo St.
7-10:30 p.m. Jan. 11
Features barbecue provided by Santa Maria Elks Lodge and live music by Sean Wiggins and the Lone Goat Band.  Cost: $125 for Navy League members/$150 general admission.

Sports Weekend — Games involving USS Ronald Reagan crewmembers and local teams
Jan. 12-13.  On Saturday, baseball and softball games will be held at Pershing Park, and basketball and softball at games at SBCC. On Sunday, SBCC will host soccer matches. The games include music, flags and hotdogs. Free for family, friend, officers and crewmembers.

Concert in Chase Palm Park, featuring Red Fish with Navy flyover
1-3 p.m. Jan. 12
Free for family, friends, officers and crewmembers.

Rock the Reagan Concert, featuring Blues Traveler at the Arlington Theater
7-10:30 p.m. Jan. 12
For officers, crewmembers, Navy League members.  Waitlist “block” tickets sales open to the public. Cost: $250 for 10 tickets.

POW Capt. Charlie Plumb speaks at Bacara Resort & Spa
7-9 p.m. Jan. 12
For officers, crewmembers and Navy League members.

Rancho San Marcos Golf Tournament
8 a.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 13
Includes breakfast and lunch, range balls, on-course drinks and tee prizes.  Each foursome will include one crewmember.  Proceeds benefit Santa Barbara Navy League.
Open to the public. Cost: $275.

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