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Fleet Week events: Speed Festival, open house

Posted: 6:48 PM, Sep 17, 2015
Updated: 2015-09-18 01:48:16Z

Two of San Diego Fleet Week's big events will be held this weekend -- the 18th annual Fleet Week Coronado Speed Festival and an open house.

Three Navy ships left Naval Base San Diego on Thursday and pulled up at Naval Air Station North Island to be part of the open house, which serves as an opportunity for families to get access on base.

Sailor Steven Stolp, who serves on the USS Cape St. George, told 10News of his ship: "Oh, we bro down."

Stolp said they need that strong brotherhood on board because deployments can be difficult.

"It's hard to be beautiful in this uniform sometimes," he joked.

Then, there are days that prove their loyalty to country above all.

"Unfortunately, I've had a lot of deaths, funerals that I wasn't able to attend; missing weddings, missing Christmases," Stolp said. "I missed three Christmases in a row."

This weekend is about fun and connecting the community with their Navy. It is a chance for sailors like William Harris to show off what they love.

"That's something I work on day in and day out," Harris, a gunner's mate, said. "I take pride in that to show it off to what I know, what I do."

Harris said gunner's mates are "also known as grease monkeys. We get down in the nitty gritty."

Basically, it means he blows stuff up.

10News learned Harris is a small town guy from the South, where he used to work on a cattle farm.

Stolp is a BMX rider who can do a backflip on a bike. He is probably pumped about the Speed Festival. It will be complete with some of the fastest and loudest racing machines.

The Speed Festival was selected as the official launch site of the release of "Fast & Furious 7."

More than 25,000 people are expected to attend the Speed Festival. It is free for all active duty, active reserve and their direct-dependent military ID holders, as well as children 12 and under, both military and non-military.

For the public, tickets cost $25 for one day and $35 for both days, in advance on the event website. Tickets will also be available at the venue ($35 one day and $45 for both days).

The open house is free for everyone. You can check out their aircraft, Humvees and boats.

"You get to see the hard work we put in to protect our nation," Harris said.

For more information, visit https://www.fleetweeksandiego.org .