By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,360)
The Tall Ships Festival begins With a Parade of Sail on Saturday, July 18th at 1:00 pm and continues through until 6:00 pm, Monday, July 20th. Although a dozen majestic sailing ships will be the main attraction for the Iberdrola Tall Ships Portland Festival coming this week, the event also features much more according to a press release issued by the group.
The event will also feature 20 musical performances, 15 maritime educational exhibits, a Kotzchmar Organ Tall Ships Concert, free face painting and interactive childrens’ activities, sailors with Macaws, a lobster tent, a stilt walker, a climbing wall and much more.
“This is going to be a really fun festival and you could fill up your days without even setting foot on a ship,” said Alex Agnew, President of Sailing Ships Portland Chair of Iberolda USA Tall Ships Portland. “A ticket to this event gets you about $100 worth of concerts alone. Portland’s professional musicians are incredibly excited to perform for the tall ships.”
The tall ships will be docked along the Portland Waterfront from Ocean Gateway westward to the Maine State Pier and Maine Wharf with Casco Bay Lines right in the middle of the action all weekend.
There will be two big stages – the Shipyard Brewing Stage and the Maine Wharf Stage. The concerts kick off Saturday at the Shipyard Brewing concert with Buffalo Chip Tea at 7:00 pm Each stage will feature 9 different performances throughout the day on Sunday and Monday.
Sunday night will feature a concert at 8::00pm at Merrill Auditorium with the famous Kotzchmar Organ accompanying the historic silent film “Old Ironsides” featuring Maine-built ships. Organist Peter Krasinski will provide a night to remember celebrating the King of Instruments and the Queens of the sailing world.
The “Education Station” will include talks by Captains on sailing tall ships, a pirate-themed cartooning workshop and lessons in how to photograph sea going voyages. Meet and hear stories from the 17 Portland-area kids who sailed in on the Tall Ships. they will tell you what it’s like out there on the high seas. Maine Maritime Museum will bring its Lobster-mobile and will also feature a wood-turner making traditional wooden ship pegs, pins and treenails, as well as knot-tying and sea chanteys, And L.L. Bean is bringing the world’s largest Bean boot to hep yo find them and their Outdoor Discovery School, which will be running programs all weekend.
Lobster will be a huge part of the festival with lobster rolls and bisque available a two locations inside the festival, a Shipyard beer tent and more than a dozen food trucks just outside the festival gates. Ticket-buyers will be able to come and go on to grab a sit-down lunch in Portland’s Old Port as well, with restaurants in the Old Port expected to offer specials to tall ships ticket buyers.
Food trucks and artists will line the waterfront between Ocean Gateway and Port Ocean Terminal and kids will find a special home at the Kids and Guppies Center on Sunday and Monday.
So if ships are not your only cup of tea, come down to the Festival Sunday and Monday for great food and entertainment (and stay connected with the free Wi-Fi provided by Fairpoint). The Tall Ships only come every 15 years or so. Please enjoy them all 3 days they are here: Saturday, Sunday and Monday. For more information, go to tallshipsportland.com and be ready for the Tall Ships Portland.