GM, Chevrolet Enlist in War of 1812 Bicentennial Events Renaissance Center, Detroit riverfront activities include free ship tours, tech displays, concerts

DETROIT, Aug. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- General Motors and Chevrolet are gearing up for Detroit's War of 1812 bicentennial commemoration Sept. 5-9, with many free, public events in and around GM's Renaissance Center World Headquarters.

Five days of festivities – part of Navy Week – are sponsored by a nonprofit coalition led by the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Coast Guard. Activities include ship tours, technology displays, search and rescue and rifle drill team demonstrations, and daily performances by U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps bands.

"Because Detroit played such a key role in the War of 1812, we're supporting these events at our beautiful headquarters on the Detroit River. We hope the community can come share our country's history and thank our military men and women for their service," said Chris Perry, vice president, Chevrolet global marketing.

Detroit is one of several strategic port cities where War of 1812 bicentennial commemorations are taking place through 2015. Others include New York; Baltimore; Norfolk, Va.; New Orleans; Boston; Chicago and Cleveland. The war that saw the capture and return of Detroit and the eventual burning of the White House also inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star Spangled Banner" – the American national anthem since 1931 – as Fort McHenry successfully defended Baltimore Harbor from a British naval attack in 1814.

GM's Military Discount program will sponsor a free concert by country music artist Darryl Worley from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8, on the RenCen plaza stage. Worley has performed for troops here and overseas. A 2002 visit to Afghanistan, Kuwait and Uzbekistan helped inspire his No. 1 hit "Have You Forgotten?" He has returned to perform for troops nine times since then. 

Worley has been honored with the VFW's Americanism Award, the USO Merit Award and the U.S. Army Appreciation Award.

Before Worley takes the stage, the GM Foundation will present Operation Homefront with a $25,000 grant to help it provide emergency financial and other assistance to Michigan families of service members and wounded warriors.

All week, active, reserve and retired military members and spouses can learn more about GM's military discounts and enter the Seize the Keys Camaro Sweepstakes. They and members of the public can be photographed with specially painted military vehicles and test-drive a new vehicle. 

Free public tours of four Navy and U.S. Coast Guard ships at the Renaissance Center, Port Authority and Nicholson Terminal include:

  • US Brig Niagara: A Tall Ship replica of the original that played a decisive role in the Battle of Lake Erie (Renaissance Center)
  • USS Hurricane: The third Cyclone-class patrol coastal ship, commissioned in 1993 (Port Authority)
  • USCGC Katmai Bay: A 140-foot Bay-class icebreaking tug used for Homeland Security patrols and law enforcement (Port Authority)
  • USS De Wert: A Navy Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate named after Hospitalman Richard De Wert, posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism while serving with the 7th Marines during the Korean War. It was reported last year that the USS De Wert – during anti-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean – helped rescue the Italian vessel Montecristo from Somali pirates (Nicholson Terminal, with required shuttles from the Port Authority).

A fifth ship, the HMCS Ville de Quebec, will dock in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. It is a Halifax-class frigate serving in the Canadian armed forces. 

Ongoing events

GM Showroom on the ground floor of the RenCen will feature a collection of vintage Corvettes honoring the iconic sports car's 60th birthday. Other RenCen activities include:

  • GM Wintergarden military technology display – including two flight simulators – designed to encourage students' involvement in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects
  • Reproduction gun deck from a 1800s Coast Guard cutter, including a 200-pound replica cannon, surgical equipment, cooking supplies and navigation equipment. Coast Guard volunteers in period-style dress will answer visitors' questions.

Outside the RenCen, activities include:

  • SeaPerch, an underwater robotics program that equips teachers and students with the resources they need to build an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) and enter it into competitive SeaPerch Challenges
  • Test-drives of 2013 model year cars, trucks and crossovers from Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac
  • Coast Guard demonstrations that include precision rifle drills and search-and-rescue operations (Friday, Sept. 7 and Saturday, Sept. 8)

Here are the Detroit-area events commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812. Times are subject to change

Tuesday, Sept. 4

4-6 p.m.: U.S. Navy Band Great Lakes Show Band, GM RenCen Plaza Stage

4:30-6:30 p.m.: USS De Wert, USS Hurricane, US Brig Niagara and USCGC Katmai Bay arrive at Detroit riverfront

Wednesday, Sept. 5

10 a.m.-6 p.m.: Military Festival including GM ride-and-drive; science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) display (noon-5 p.m.), Corvette vehicle display, GM RenCen

11 a.m.-noon, 12:30-2 p.m.: Navy Band Great Lakes Pop Music Group, GM RenCen Plaza Stage

Noon: Welcome Ceremony, GM RenCen Plaza Stage, Ville de Quebec arrives in Windsor

1-6 p.m.: USCGC Katmai Bay public tours

Noon-7 p.m.: US Brig Niagara public tours

3-7 p.m.: USS De Wert and USS Hurricane public tours

4-6 p.m.: USMC Brass Band, GM RenCen Plaza Stage

Thursday, Sept. 6

10 a.m.-6 p.m.: Military Festival including GM ride-and-drive, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) display (noon-5 p.m.), Chevrolet Corvette display, GM RenCen

11 a.m.-2 p.m.: Navy Band Great Lakes Pop Music Group, GM RenCen Plaza Stage

1-6 p.m..: USCGC Katmai Bay public tours

Noon-4 p.m.: US Brig Niagara public tours 

Noon-6 p.m.: USS De Wert and USS Hurricane public tours

5-7 p.m.: Navy Band Great Lakes Show Band (plays during Brig Niagara Gala arrivals)

Friday, Sept. 7

10 a.m.-6 p.m.: Military Festival including GM ride-and-drive, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) display (noon-5 p.m.), Chevrolet Corvette display, GM RenCen

10:45-11 a.m., 1:45-2 p.m., 2:30-2:45 p.m.: U.S. Coast Guard Drill Team (precision rifle display), GM RenCen Plaza Stage area

11 a.m.-1:45 p.m.: USMC Ceremonial Brass Band and Brass Band Concert, GM RenCen Plaza Stage

Noon-4 p.m.: USS Hurricane public tours

1-6 p.m.: USCGC Katmai Bay public tours

Noon-7 p.m.: US Brig Niagara and USS De Wert public tours

2-2:30 p.m.: U.S. Coast Guard search-and-rescue demonstration in front of GM RenCen on the Detroit River

4-6 p.m.: Horizon (pop music), GM RenCen Plaza Stage

6 p.m.: USS Hurricane departs for Battle of Lake Erie Anniversary

Saturday, Sept. 8

10 a.m.-6 p.m.: Military Festival including GM ride-and-drive, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) display (noon-6 p.m.), Chevrolet Corvette vehicle display, GM RenCen

11-11:15 a.m., 1:45-2 p.m., 2:30-2:45 p.m.: U.S. Coast Guard Drill Team (precision rifle display), GM RenCen Plaza Stage area

11:30 a.m.-1:45 p.m.: Navy Band Great Lakes Show Band, GM RenCen Plaza Stage

Noon-4 p.m.: USS De Wert public tours

Noon-5 p.m.: USCGC Katmai Bay public tours

2-2:30 p.m.: U.S. Coast Guard search-and-rescue demonstration in front of GM RenCen on the Detroit River

6-7:30 p.m.: Darryl Worley concert sponsored by GM Military Discount program. Immediately prior to the concert, the GM Foundation will present a grant to Operation Homefront

Sunday, Sept. 9

10 a.m.-3 p.m.: Military Festival including GM ride-and-drive, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) display (noon-3 p.m.), Chevrolet Corvette vehicle display, GM RenCen

10 a.m.-4 p.m.: US Brig Niagara public tours 

11-11:15 a.m., 2-2:15 p.m.: U.S. Coast Guard Drill Team (precision rifle display), GM RenCen area

Noon: USS Hurricane returns to Detroit

Noon-5 p.m.: USCGC Katmai Bay public tours

Noon-7 p.m.: USS De Wert public tours

Monday, Sept. 10

Noon: Ville de Quebec frigate departs Canada

9-10 a.m.: US Brig Niagara departs

1 p.m.: USCGC Katmai Bay, USS Hurricane depart

1:30 p.m.: USS De Wert departs

With nearly 5,000 military veteran employees, General Motors' support for the United States armed forces spans generations. Today, Chevrolet assists Cell Phones for Soldiers, Achilles Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans, the Fallen and Wounded Soldiers Fund, a variety of employment and grassroots initiatives, and is the Official Vehicle of the Army-Navy game. The GM Military Discount program offers the industry's best discounts on most Chevrolet, Buick and GMC vehicles for active-duty, reserve and retired service members and their spouses. GM's military community can be found on Facebook.

SOURCE General Motors



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