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Federal Sequester Takes Wind Out Of Fleet Week's Sails

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The city's annual Fleet Week celebration could be set adrift this year.

The event was set to begin on May 23, but may not happen because of federal budget cuts.

Navy spokeswoman Beth Baker tells NY1 no branch of the armed forces are being allowed to take part in community relations or outreach programs that come at an added cost to the government.

That means the city will not see a parade of ships up the Hudson River for the first time in more than 25 years.

"This is just one of the many steps the Navy's taking to ensure our resources are in place to support our forces, operating now and training to relieve them. Community relations and outreach efforts with additional costs are going to have to be done with local units," Baker said.

Because of the popularity of the event, the Navy is still trying to find a way to have some sort of presence in the city next month.

"It would be nice to see it but if you gotta make some cuts. You gotta make some cuts," said one New Yorker.

"Unfortunately with so many budget cuts things like that are going to dwindle but if it can come back I think it's a great thing for them," said another New Yorker.

Businesses that count on Fleet Week for revenue say they're concerned what the budget issues could mean for their bottom line.

"It's really bad, I saw some of them came the year before and last year too, we'll miss them, we'll really miss them," said Gourmet NY Marketplace Manager Alfred Bastauross.

The mayor's office says City Hall will keep working with the Navy to figure out how to celebrate the nation's servicemen and women.

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