The Tall Ships Challenge, the annual event organized by the American Sail Training Association and alternating in a three year cycle between the Great Lakes, the Pacific and the Atlantic coasts of North America, and this year on the Atlantic Coast, is nearing the end.
The 2012 Tall Ships Challenge fleet in Savannah, Ga
But if you're anywhere near Halifax in Massachusetts this week end you'll be able to catch the tall ships while being present at a great Halifax festival taking place at the same time.
Onboard the 179-foot Barque Picton Castle during the race to Cape Fear, N.C. in the 2012 Tall Ships Challenge
Arriving in Nova Scotia on the last leg of the Tall Ships Challenge, Atlantic Coast series, this show-stopping event will take place in Halifax from July 19-23 before moving on to other outports around the province.
While some of the highlights of the event remain the Parade of Sail and the opportunity to board the majestic tall ships and meet their crews, festival-goers can also take advantage of a wide range of other signature events that showcase the best of Nova Scotia’s unique history, food, and entertainment.
The Halifax Tall Ships spirit extends beyond the festival itself to other places around Halifax, such as the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia where kids can participate in a summer art class from July 23-27 entitled, Ships Ahoy, and visitors can take in the exhibit A View from the Atlantic. Visitors can also immerse themselves in Halifax’s rich seafaring history at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic’s Days of Sail Gallery.
The Tall Ships Challenge draws hundreds of thousands of people to witness beautiful tall ships from the age of sail and provides a unique opportunity for the participants to interact with the crews of different vessels in friendly rivalry as they race from port to port.
The series began in 2001 on the Great Lakes and saw vessels from six countries and visited seven US and Canadian ports. It has since continued to grow and is an eagerly anticipated event in the seaside communities that host the vessels.
The crew douses sails aboard 180-foot HMS Bounty
Since its launch the Tall Ships Challenge series has visited 32 North American cities, bringing over 8,000,000 spectators down to the waterfront to experience the tall ships and creating a cumulative estimated economic impact of over $400,000,000 for host communities It has coordinated more than 60 events in 32 cities, stimulating strong tourism and economic development through associated family-friendly festivals.
In 2013, all eyes will be on the Tall Ships Challenge® Great Lakes, when the ships will visit over 20 cities in the U.S. and Canada to continue the commemoration of the events of the War of 1812, including a re-creation of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie.
For a list of participating tall ships, click here
Tall Ships America website
The 191-foot Barquentine Dewaruci (Surbaya, Indonesia) and Nova Scotia’s Theodore Tug docked in Savannah, Ga., with the Talmadge Bridge in the background for Tall Ships America’s 2012 Tall Ships Challenge