Friday, August 16, 2013
Georgian Bay is being invaded by a fleet of tall ships.
They are part of the war of 1812 Bicentennial celebrations and will be visiting Owen Sound, Wasaga Beach and Collingwood this weekend and Kincardine, Midland, Penetanguishene and Discovery Harbour next weekend.
David Brunelle is the Co-ordinator for the Bicentenial Celebrations — and he says this is a great opportunity for people to get up close with the large sailing vessels.
He says two of the larger ships are the Brig Niagara and the tall ship the Pride of Baltimore II with both being around 200 feet long.
The Pride of Baltimore II and Liana’s Ransom arrived in Owen Sound on Friday morning — much to the delight of about 50 people who took time out to watch the ships sail into the City’s harbour.
The Playfair arrived in Owen Sound’s harbour around the dinner hour on Thursday, and another 50 people greeted the crew.
All of the boarding passes and excursion tickets for the Owen Sound Tall Ships Festival are sold out — and you must have tickets in order to get into the gated area where the ships are moored.
But there will still be plenty to do at the CN rail station — there will be games and activities for children, interpretive displays, a Harbour market and music presented by Summerfolk.
You can also view the ships from the East Harbour walk north of 10th Street West.
As part of the Owen Sound festival — 1st Avenue West from 11th to 12th Street will be closed from 7 AM to 7 PM on Friday and Saturday, so you are encouraged to take a shuttle.
You can park at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre or at Foodland, and the shuttles will operate every 20 minutes, from 8:30 AM to 7 PM both days.
It’s estimated 6,000 to 10,000 people will attend the three day event in Owen Sound.
The Tall Ships site will be open from 10 AM to 6 PM on Saturday and from 10 AM to 3 PM on Sunday.
Everyone is invited to attend the closing ceremonies on Sunday and the Parade of Sail at 2 PM as the ships sail out the harbour.
Brunelle adds the Niagara is the vessel that was responsible for the sinking of the British Ship the Nancy in Wasaga Beach during the War of 1812.
He says a total of 12 ships will be taking part in the two weekend tour of Southern Georgian Bay.
The ships — the Pathfinder and the Playfair — are also scheduled to dock in Kincardine on Thursday, August 22nd and stay until Sunday August 25th.