JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Some locals are aiming to bring history home. They are hoping to have the USS Adams back in Jacksonville as part of the Shipyards revitalization project.
Tuesday afternoon, hundreds of people are gathering for a boat drop and race at Metropolitan Park.
All the money raised will go toward doing just that. Now, when you think of a boat race, you probably think of something rather big and expensive but, this is different. We're talking about little boats- 1,600 of them to be exact. Not only is this a lot of fun, you can also win prizes. Organizers hope to have USS Adams decorating downtown by the fall, so these little boats will definitely make way for the real deal.
With a bag in hand, over one shoulder, Joe Snowberger, in a way, captures the spirit of Santa Claus. But what he carries is so much more than toys.
These little boats can be the key to bringing home a big piece of history, The USS Adams.
"Jacksonville really is in the middle of its great awakening and run," said Snowberger.
Snowberger is Commodore of the USS Adams Museum. For the last seven years, his organization has worked to bring her home from Philadelphia but, doing that hasn't been easy.
"We're working very hard to put all the things in place. From designing a berth to shipyards to raising the final funds we need to get her here," said Snowberger.
Stationed in Mayport for 21 of her 30 years of service, the USS Adams was the first guided missile destroyer built from the keel up by the U.S. Navy as a guided missile ship. Her missions include the Cuban Missile Crisis and quarantine of Cuba.
With that history, Snowberger believes she could be the perfect decoration downtown and an experience for everyone.
"She'll be an event venue. She'll be entertaining on Halloween and Easter and all the great spring holidays. She'll be hosting kids to be exposed to science, technology, engineering, and math," said Snowberger.
And when these little boats hit the water, it'll be a show on its own- just some friendly competition, with the big picture in the forefront.
"We need the citizens of Jacksonville to step up. We need you to go to www.ussadams.com and see how you can get involved," said Snowberger.
The boat drop and boat race starts at 4;00 p.m. at Metropolitan Park by the firehouse museum. They are selling some boats and to buy one, all you need to do is show up a little earlier on Tueday. For more information, visit: https://www.ussadams.com/boat-race-to-help-bring-home-the-uss-adams/