On The Yard


    Fun Things for Visitors to Do During Commissioning Week

    By Bill the Goat on April 4, 2024

    Fun Things for Visitors to Do During Commissioning Week

    Commissioning Week is fast approaching! Taking place between May 17th and May 25th this year, this time of reflection, celebration, and graduation is one of the highlights of life at the U.S. Naval Academy. As we send off the Class of 2024 into their roles as new leaders in the Fleet and the Corps, we are excited to welcome friends and family here for a schedule full of fun and festivity.


    Uniquely USNA Events

    There are too many good events to name here, but you can find the entire schedule online - check there for the latest times and information, as well as gate hours and shuttle service. In the meantime, as you make your plans to hang out in Annapolis, we recommend checking out the following uniquely USNA events. They’re fun for the whole family!


    Friday, May 17th, 2024: Fuel Up and Take a USNA Tour

    Arrive early in Annapolis to kick off the week right! You can hit the 1845 Coffee Gatehouse from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to get fueled up (The Midshipmen Store 1845 Coffee hours are 7:30 a.m - 4:00 p.m.). 


    The Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center and Gift Shop are open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m, and a host of different USNA tours run from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. It’s the perfect time to get the lay of the land before the bigger crowds roll in. When you’re ready for lunch, you’ll find it at the Naval Academy Club/The Alley Restaurant, right on the Yard.


    Saturday, May 18th, 2024: Explore the Yard

    This morning, you can grab your brew at the 1845 Gatehouse Coffee between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., or at the Midshipmen Store from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m (NOTE: eligible shopping patrons only). You can use this time to pick up some souvenirs, as well as REAL Navy swag to wear proudly around town. The Visitor’s Center remains open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with tours running from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Then at 6:00 p.m., you can enjoy the patriotic strains of the U.S. Naval Academy Band Armed Forces Day Concert, which will be outside at the famed Zimmerman Bandstand on the Quadrangle. Take this time to stroll the Yard in all of its late spring glory!


    Sunday, May 19th, 2024: Take in the History

    Get up early to enjoy the Morning Colors at 8:00 a.m. at T-Court. You won’t be disappointed. Then head to the Naval Academy Club’s special Baccalaureat Sunday brunch (reservations are highly encouraged) between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Wander back to the Zimmerman Bandstand to hear the USNA Band Chapel Walkway Concert from 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. The nearby USNA Museum in Preble Hall features fascinating historical artifacts, like the Japanese surrender table from WWII, as well as a collection of ships made from bones. Visit Preble Hall between 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. And if you haven’t gotten a USNA tour in yet, you can go to the Visitor Center between 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. 


    Related: Treasure Hunt in Preble Hall, Naval Academy Museum.


    Monday, May 20th, 2024: Enjoy Some Eats

    There are Yard Patrol Craft Static Displays at the Farragut Seawall from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. There will be a variety of food trucks in the Midshipmen Store parking lot from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. You can also take a USNA tour, do some shopping, hit the museum, and more!


    Tuesday, May 21st, 2024: Listen to the Music

    The fabled Blue Angels circle and arrive over the Severn River between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., returning for their rehearsal at 2:00 p.m. A Commissioning Week Glee Club Concert caps off the day at the Main Chapel from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.


    Wednesday, May 22nd, 2024: Watch the Formation

    See the famous USNA Noon Meal Formation/Brigade Change of Command Ceremony at T-Court at 12:05 p.m., followed by a USNA Drum and Bugle Corps Concert at 12:30 p.m. at Radford Terrace. At 1:00 p.m., the 8th & I/Battle Color Detachment  Performance takes place at Ingram Field—and the Naval Academy Band Blues & Gold Concert happens concurrently at Hospital Point. Then the Blue Angels return for a stunning flight demonstration over the Severn River at 2:00 p.m. Walk over to the Main Chapel. You will be blown away at the Commissioning Week Organ Concert by celebrated USNA organist Monte Maxwell at 4:00 p.m. 


    Related: Do Not Miss the Noon Meal Formation!


    Thursday, May 23rd, 2024: See a Parade

    The color parade happens at 11:00 a.m. at Worden Field. You also have your choice of USNA tours, food trucks, shopping, and other events, on this day leading up to graduation!


    Friday, May 24th, 2024: Attend Graduation

    It’s the day we’ve all been waiting for, the Class of 2024 gather at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium for the procession at 9:00 a.m. and the graduation at 10:00 a.m. (NOTE: Invite only).The Blue Angels make their flyover at 10:04 a.m. and the Graduation Photo/Swearing-in Ceremony runs from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. It’s the pinnacle of the week as we celebrate our graduates!


    Saturday, May 25th, 2024: Sign Off

    It’s time to reflect on a week well done. Fuel up again at 1845 Coffee and grab some last minute gifts for the pet-sitter before you head home with a full heart. Wow, what a week!


    Come Back Soon!

    Until next time…. Remember your very presence on the Yard makes a big difference to the midshipmen. Every purchase, USNA tour, and meal contributes to their extracurricular activities, like cultural arts, music, theater, club sports, and more. Spend some time with us on the Yard and support the midshipmen that support our freedom. Book your USNA tours and make your reservations now for the whole family. Go Navy!

    Take a USNA Tour

    Bill the Goat
    Written by Bill the Goat | April 4, 2024


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