On Saturday, August 20th, Albacore Park celebrated the 25th year of having the submarine open to the public. The day featured free admission to the Park, a brief rededication ceremony and tent shaded booths for adult and children's activities.
One booth offered the opportunity to meet with crewmembers from the USS Virginia, San Juan and Memphis - three of the boats in overhaul at the shipyard.
The Memorial Garden was dressed up for the occasion with fresh wreaths at every monument.
Nearly 700 visitors took the opportunity to tour the boat. Former Albacore crew members manned posts inside and outside the boat to regulate traffic flow, provide information and offer personal experiences of life and activities while they were onboard.
In recognition of the 25th (silver) anniversary, 60 silver balloons were placed on the poles supporting the chain-link fence around the boat.
The balloons were left in place at the end of the day to celebrate the wedding that took place at the forward brow on Sunday afternoon.
The wedding couple:
A group from the shipyard brought a couple of underwater robots, part of the Sea Perch program, for children (and adults) to play with.
PPMMA board member Dick Wilder and several fellow Ham operators set up a booth where they offered training on Morse code and, using an aerial strung from the top of the sail, exchanged messages with other Ham radio stations.
A special table was set up for testing of toy submarines purchased at the Museum store.
A large tent with lots of chairs was placed across from Albacore's sail. This was the site of the rededication ceremony and, later in the day, was a gathering place for the foot weary.
Inside the Museum building in the afternoon, several local authors signed copies of their recent books. Dennis Robinson, co-editor of "Maritime Portsmouth - The Sawtelle Collection" was one signer as were Mary Lee Coe Fowler who signed "Full Fathom Five" an Rod Watterson who sign his "32 In 42".
Thanks to Albacore Park Executive Director John Maier who so thoroughly planned the events, George Milliken of Customer Services and the PPMMA Board for their part in a memorable day.