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Fest in Ship Shape

by GoErie
Thu, Aug 1st 2013 11:23 am


Fest in ship shape

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The nine-ship flotilla that will appear in the Tall Ships Erie festival Sept. 5-8 has been set for several months.

Flagship Niagara League officials will announce additional festival plans today at a 3 p.m. news conference at the Erie Maritime Museum.

Shawn Waskiewicz, executive director of the Flagship Niagara League, is expected to outline the festival's daily schedules, educational programs and entertainment.

The four-day festival will highlight Erie's 2013 bicentennial celebration of the Battle of Lake Erie.

"We have some pretty dynamic shanty music bands that are coming in from across the country,'' Waskiewicz said. "Mercyhurst University is sponsoring our video on lecture series, and we're going to be announcing our series and a couple of War of 1812 authors and some other people who will be doing some lectures during the weekend that I think people are going to enjoy.''

Officials will also outline parking and shuttle service information.

"We have five different locations for park and rides, and maps will be passed out (today) so people will know where to park and where to go,'' Waskiewicz said.

Plans for a children's activity zone also will be outlined today.

"There will be rock climbs and bouncy games and face-painter and clowns to keep the kids busy,'' Waskiewicz said.

Niagara League officials announced the festival's ship lineup and ticket pricing information in February and April.

The U.S. Brig Niagara will lead the nine-ship flotilla in a Parade of Sail in Presque Isle Bay during the festival's opening day Thursday, Sept. 5. The event will start at 5 p.m.

Other tall ships scheduled to appear include the Sorlandet, of Kristiansand, Norway; the Lynx, of Portsmouth, N.H.; the Peacemaker, of Brunswick, Ga.; the Appledore IV, of Bay City, Mich.; Friends Good Will, of South Haven, Mich.; the Unicorn, of Bridgeport, Conn.; the Pride of Baltimore II; and the St. Lawrence II, of Kingston, Ontario.

Ships will dock at the Bayfront Convention Center, Erie Maritime Museum and Dobbins Landing.

A day pass is $8 on Friday, Sept. 6, and $14 for Saturday, Sept. 7, and Sunday, Sept. 8. A weekend pass (Friday-Sunday) is $22. Tickets may be purchased at the Erie Maritime Museum gift shop or on the Flagship Niagara League website. Weekend passes are $20 at all area Country Fair stores.

As of Wednesday, the Flagship Niagara League had 576 volunteers set to work the festival.

"Our goal is to have 600 volunteers,'' Waskiewicz said. "We could use a few more.''

RON LEONARDI can be reached at 870-1680 or by e-mail.