By ANDREA C. TURNER
The wind will fill the sails as spectacular ships grace the shores of Lake Erie once again for the Cleveland Tall Ships Festival. Thousands of visitors typically attend this four-day maritime celebration which takes place July 7-10, after a two-year hiatus. A ceremonial parade of sail into Downtown Cleveland will take place on Thursday, July 7, from approximately 4-6 p.m. and can be viewed for free at Wendy Park and Voinovich Park at North Coast Harbor.
The festival allows for visitors of all ages to enjoy a variety of attractions, including tours aboard the fleet, sail-aways and live entertainment, exhibits, as well as food and beverage options. This is a rare chance to catch a glimpse, step aboard, and even set sail on the 2022 fleet of tall ships. Enjoy festival foods, craft beer, music, street performers, and a festival marketplace.
Visitors must purchase tickets to enter the festival grounds for each day of attendance. Tickets include access to all standard festival activities and allow you to board and tour each visiting tall ship one time. Tickets are date specific and can only be used on the date they have been purchased for. Sail-aways must be purchased separately and include access to the festival.
New this year to the festival are two special events: Happy Hour at the Dock on Friday, July 8, from 6:30 – 10 p.m. and festival fireworks on Saturday, July 9, from 6:30-10p.m. The Happy Hour includes entry to the festival grounds and your first beverage. Guests can also view the majestic Tall Ships dockside while enjoying live entertainment along Lake Erie’s shoreline.
Saturday offers an evening of fun for the whole family. Enjoy access to the festival grounds, live entertainment, children’s activities and a live fireworks show at 10 p.m. Gates open at 6:30 p.m.
Eight traditional sailing vessels from three countries will be featured as part of the 2022 Tall Ships fleet. From the United States: Appledore IV, Inland Seas, Pride of Baltimore II, U.S. Brig Niagara, and Utopia. From Canada: Empire Sandy and St. Lawrence II, and from Spain: Nao Trinidad. Additionally, there will be maritime attractions including the U.S.S. Cod and the William G. Mather Steamship, available for boarding and viewing.
The U.S. Brig Niagara is a reproduction of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry’s flagship from the War of 1812’s Battle of Lake Erie while the Pride of Baltimore II also represents a War of 1812 vessel. Nao Trinidad, while the newest for the public, is the “oldest” ship since she represents one of Magellan’s flagships from his circumnavigation 500 years ago.
The oldest constructed ship, the Empire Sandy, was built in 1943 and sails with 11,000 square feet of canvas and double cannons that are fired at special times. The newest launched vessel is Trinidad; she was launched as Santa Maria in 2018.
For more information about the event, visit https://tallshipscle.com
Cleveland Tall Ships Festival sails into Cleveland July 7-10
By ANDREA C. TURNER