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Event Happening

“Old Ironsides” Afloat Again!

July 23, 2017 - July 24, 2017

Join us and the National Parks of Boston as we celebrate USS Constitution’s much-anticipated return to the water after two years in dry dock.


4:15 p.m. – Dry Dock 1 begins to flood
9:50 p.m. – Afloat again! USS Constitution lifts off her keel blocks
11:30 p.m. – USS Constitution crosses the dry docks sill and into Boston Harbor


We invite you to participate in FREE family-friendly activities throughout the Navy Yard and in the museum to celebrate this historic event.

In the Yard: 4 – 8PM
Participate in a scavenger hunt and hands-on activities that test your shipbuilding skills.
Learn from Maritime Craft Artisans about the work that goes into building and maintaining a ship like
Enjoy music and watch a demonstration from the 1812 Marines.
Grab a bite to eat at one of the food trucks.

In the Museum: 4 – 8PM
Listen to gallery talks about different milestones in the 2015-2017 restoration.
Mark yourself with a temporary tattoo or make a souvenir button with a limited edition image of Constitution in dry dock.
Get a front row seat to all the action with Facebook Live video streams at 4 and 6 PM.

In the Yard: 8PM – midnight
Stick around to see “Old Ironsides” afloat again as she lifts from her keel blocks at approximately 10 PM!
At approximately 11:30 PM, Constitution will cross the sill of the dry dock and into the Boston Harbor.
Follow along with a live video stream and narration of major events throughout the night.

In the Museum: 8PM – midnight
See all the work that has been accomplished the past 26 months with a video recap and behind the scenes footage of the restoration process.
Watch a live video feed of the work from a camera overlooking the dry dock.
Participate in your maritime heritage by joining a rousing chorus of sea chanteys
Listen to gallery talks about rigging, the cutwater, souvenirs, planking and copper.


  1. Where is the dry dock? How long will Constitution be there?
    USS Constitution is currently in Dry Dock 1 in the Charlestown Navy Yard, located right in front of the USS Constitution Museum.
    She entered dry dock on May 18, 2015 and will remain there until she is re-floated on the night of July 23, 2017. Afterwards, Constitution will be temporarily docked at Pier 1 East in the Charlestown Navy Yard until late summer, when she returns to her berth Pier 1 West.
  2. Can I still visit while she’s in dry dock?
    Beginning Monday, July 10, 2017, Constitution is temporarily closed to the public while final preparations are made for exiting Dry Dock 1 on Sunday, July 23, 2017. In late summer 2017, once the Ship is secure on Pier 1, Constitution will reopen to the public Tuesday through Sunday.
    While the Ship is closed, Constitution‘s crew is providing dockside interpretation throughout the day. In the USS Constitution Museum, which is open 7 days a week, visitors are encouraged to go further into Constitution‘s history by viewing artifacts, interacting with our hands-on exhibits, and participating in our many programs and events. Museum Educators are on-hand to answer questions and provide more information about the work underway and the Ship’s history.
  3. Why does Constitution go into dry dock?
    All ships must come out of the water from time to time for maintenance and repair. The integrity of a ship’s hull is critical to her survival. It is required that all ships come out of the water for careful inspection, replacement of aging pieces, and refinishing of the bottom below the waterline so they may continue to float for years to come. The U.S. Navy takes this opportunity to restore elements of Constitution‘s design that have been altered through the years, making her as close to her 1812 configuration as is practicable.
  4. What work has happened on “Old Ironsides during the restoration?
    Since entering dry dock in May 2015, ship restorers and riggers at Naval History & Heritage Command Detachment Boston have been busy shaping and installing new hull planks and gun deck waterways, rebuilding the cutwater and the stern, repairing and replacing parts of the rigging, and removing and replacing the copper sheathing on the Ship’s hull.
    If you want to stay up-to-date on the latest news and Constitution‘s final year of the 2015-2017 restoration, subscribe to the Restoration Blog and take a look at “Old Ironsides” in dry dock with our real-time photo feed on ConstitutionCam!
  5. Can I learn about the restoration at the Museum?
    Yes! At the USS Constitution Museum, you can learn about Constitution‘s many restorations in the Making “Old Ironsides” New exhibit. Learn more about our exhibits here.
    Restoration Blog written jointly by Naval History & Heritage Command Detachment Boston and the USS Constitution Museum gives an in-depth look at Constitution‘s two-year restoration process.
    To see the current work schedule for the restoration, please check out the U.S. Navy’s official website for “Old Ironsides.”


USS Constitution Museum
Open daily: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
July 23: Open 9 a.m. to midnight

Navy Yard Visitor Center
Open Tuesday – Sunday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
July 23: Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

USS Cassin Young (DD 793)
Open daily: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
July 23: Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

July 23: Open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Special Thanks
City of Boston
Charlestown Mothers Association
Charlestown Community Impact Fund
Friends of the Charlestown Navy Yard
Massachusetts Bay Council, Navy League of the Unites States
Staff of the Naval History & Heritage Command Detachment Boston
SPARK Boston
Officers and Crew of the USS Constitution
Whole Foods Market


Date: July 23, 2017 - July 24, 2017

Time: 9:00am - 12:00am


USS Constitution Museum

Phone: 617-286-5082




USS Constitution Museum

Charlestown Navy Yard, Building 22, Charlestown, MA 02129

Phone: 617-426-1812