(03/21/13) - Three years ago, a fleet of tall ships sailed up the
Saginaw River and tied up in Bay City for three days. They're returning
this summer, and more than 100,000 people are expected to see them.
"It is beautiful. It's a majestic sight to see all those masts lined up and coming into port," said Leslie Orozco, of Dow Corning, one of the event sponsors.
Ten tall ships will make Bay City a port of call this summer, including the Soerlandet from Norway.
"The fleet will arrive the afternoon of Thursday, July 11. They'll be open for dockside tours through the whole weekend," Orozco said.
The tall ships will tie up at Wenonah Park and across the river at Vets Park. Organizers say that when all the ship are in, the Saginaw River will look like it did more than 100 years ago, when the tall ships were in the heyday.
No other Michigan cities will be visited by the tall ships.
"We are the only port of call. When the ships sail into Bay City, you will see a fleet the size of which will never sail into another port this summer," said Shirley Roberts, Tall Ships event coordinator.
In 2010, an estimated 125,000 people came to Bay City to see the maritime celebration. Even more are expected this time, and they'll be coming from all over the U.S. and Canada.
"The farther distance they travel, the more likely it is they'll spend money in our community. As a result, we estimate the economic impact from our event to be in extent of 10 and a half million dollars," Roberts said.
In conjunction with the tall ships, an international music festival will be held in Wenonah and Vets Parks. Musicians from Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland will be performing.
"We're going to feature these wonderful musicians we bring from around the world. I think it will be a hit," said Jerry Somalski, a volunteer with the Tall Ship Celebration.
The tall ships will weigh anchor and hoist their sails July 14.
For more information on the Tall Ships in Bay City, click here.
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