BROCKVILLE, Ontario Its no tall tale when the director of economic development here says the tall ships event his city will host is a once-in-a-lifetime event.
Its not likely we are going to have this many ships here in port in one place ever again, said David Paul.
That may go for any port along the St. Lawrence River.
Ten tall ships will converge on Brockville, nearly opposite Morristown across the St. Lawrence Seaway, for the June 14 to16 Tall Ships 1812 Tour.
As part of that whole event, there will be 15 Canadian and U.S. ports where the tall ships will be visiting as part of this commemoration programming, said Mr. Paul.
Brockville is the tours first port of call. Mr. Paul said that, except for Toronto, Brockville will host the most ships of any of the other Canadian cities on the tour, which concludes Sept. 2 on Lake Erie in the Windsor, Ontario, area.
We tried to be aggressive to make our overtures known at tall ship conferences which we attended the past two years, said Mr. Paul. We also said, When you come here, were going to make this meaningful for your captain and crew so you will come back again on your own.
The tour is produced in partnership with the Tall Ships Challenge Great Lakes 2013 series. That tour will visit 22 ports along the Great Lakes and include five races. The Tall Ships Challenge is a program produced by Tall Ships America, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching youth through character building and leadership programs aboard the tall ships.
One of the tall ships in the festival, Empire Sandy, will stop in Clayton June 12 to kick off the Sailing Seaway Clayton festival, June 12 to 16, before arriving in Brockville June 14. Empire Sandy will join tall ship Lynx at the Clayton festival. The Lynx will remain throughout the Clayton festival.
Mr. Paul said that in addition to ship tours and public cruises, a variety of events is planned ashore, ranging from concerts, vendors, artisans, a pirates village and a beverage garden.
He said a key viewing time for spectators will be at approximately 4 p.m. June 14. All the ships will be under sail, Mr. Paul said. They are going to make a big pass of city hall along the waterfront before they go back to their berthing areas.
There are no shortage of those areas in Brockville, Mr. Paul said.
Were kind of blessed that way, Mr. Paul said. Weve got good depth and good docking space because we were a commerce area for steamships.
A spectacular fireworks show is planned for June 15, Mr. Paul said. A sound system will crank out Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovskys 1812 Overture.
Were having the ships, their cannons and land-based cannons and the infantry (re-enactors) to all combine their fire at the crescendo of the overture, Mr. Paul said.
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Mr. Paul said there are a couple of options available for people who want to tour the tall ships. A $12 passport will allow patrons to tour all the ships.
They are pretty high quality souvenir pieces in heavy parchment paper, Mr. Paul said of the passports. He added that each ship will have its own customized stamp.
Two ships, Empire Sandy and Lianas Ransom, will offer sailing excursions for $30. Dinner cruises have been sold out.