San Francisco's Fleet Week goes virtual due to COVID

San Francisco's annual Fleet Week celebration is going virtual this year due to COVID-19. Fleet Week is one of the San Francisco's premier events, with hundreds of thousands of visitors flooding into the city. But this year the whole event is moving online.

Every year in october visitors flood into san Francisco's water front, touring ships, watching the airshow and showing love for the armed forces.

This year though, organizers of San Francisco Fleet Week say it would be irresponsible to bring together hundreds of thousands of visitors in the midst of a pandemic.

"This year due to the pandemic we know that Fleet Week is going to be a virtual experience," said Lewis Loeven Executive Director for San Francisco Fleet Week. "We hope that everybody can join us throughout the week where we will be having a concentrated amount of social media posting celebrating the men and women in the military."

Going virtual means this year fans will have to content themselves with online ship tours and concerts, even though they say there will be a little star power with country music superstar Tim McGraw introducing a virtual concert.

With events moved online that will leave ordinarily crowded venues empty. Including Crissy Field, which is usually prime real estate  for the parade of ships and airshows.

For businesses on the waterfront it's yet another blow from coronavirus.

"Fleet Week to the Wharf is a massive injection of people, and any time you have that massive injection of people you have a massive injection of commerce," said Randall Scott from Fisherman's Wharf Community Benefit District.

Fisherman's Wharf Community Benefit District is hoping visitors still make a trip down to the Wharf even if the show isn't here this year. "We invite everyone to celebrate Fleet Week by coming out and eating ar your local favorite restaurant," said Scott.

City leaders are saying they will continue working with Fleet Week organizers, take this time to work on disaster preparedness plans, and plan for Fleet Week 2021.

"I am so looking forward to next year," said San Francisco Mayor London Breed. "When, hopefully, COVID will be behind us, and we'll be able to gather like we used to. Enjoying one another's company. Appreciating the work of the men and women of our military."

Organizers say Fleet Week generates at least $10 million for the city every year.

Plans for next year are already underway, it'll be the 40th anniversary of Fleet Week in San Francisco and organizers are already planning a big return.