Lottery is open for Old Ironsides’ turnaround

A lottery for 150 members of the public to be part of the annual July 4th turnaround cruise of the USS Constitution, also known as Old Ironsides, is under way now through April 27.

This year, in commemoration of the War of 1812, the Coast Guard Barque Eagle will take part, and the Blue Angels will fly over both vessels, according to Cmdr. Matt Bonner, the 72nd commanding officer of the Constitution.

“I cannot think of a better way to celebrate Independence Day,” he said.

The lottery will close at noon April 27, and the names of the winners will be chosen April 30.

Winners will receive a ticket signifying their selection and eligibility to embark. Winners will be allowed to bring one guest, and all winners and guests must be in good health and be between the ages of 8 and 70.

Tickets are non-transferable, and there will be no exceptions.

Entries can be made by completing the entry form at http://www.history.navy.mil/ussconstitution/Lottery.html and returning it by email to Constitution.events@navy.mil or by U.S. Mail to USS Constitution, Attn: Special Events, Building 5, Charlestown Navy Yard, Charlestown, MA 02129.

The July 4th turnaround cruise celebrates the nation’s birthday with a salute to the nation by the Constitution, firing a 21-gun salute exchange with Fort Independence, located on Castle Island in South Boston.

The voyage is about 4.5 miles total, typically lasting three hours.

The Constitution is the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat. She defended the sea lanes against threat from 1797 to 1855, much like the mission of today’s Navy.

Her mission today is to offer community outreach and education about the ship’s history. More than 535,000 visit Old Ironsides annually.

For more information about the Constitution, visit www.history.navy.mil/ussconstitution or www.facebook.com/ussconstitutionofficial.