July 18, 2010
Events Article 5095
Sponsored by Last Choice Country

Capt. Jack Sparrow (re-enactor Todd Stevenson), recalls their time on the HMS Bounty during Tall Ships with Shawn Barcroft, 20, of Bay City, left, Kristin Henry, 29, of Flint, and Rod Jenks, 44, right, of Montrose. (MyBayCity Photo by Dave Rogers)

Pirates. Mateys and Visitors Just "Loved" the Tall Ships Festival

Bay Metro Chief Estimates 30,000 Passengers Took Festival Shuttle Buses

July 18, 2010
By: Dave Rogers

Cassie Schindler, 22, right, assistant manager of the Waterfront Deli & Market, and Ali Pajot, 20, are buttoning up the deli after a long day.
(MyBayCity Photo by Dave Rogers)

Bay Metro Transit General Manager Mike Stoner, winding up four long, hard, hot days, said it all:

"We did great!"

He estimated that 30,000 visitors to the Tall Ships Festival rode the Bay Metro shuttle buses during the festival.

Visitors still prowled Water Street at 5 p.m. Sunday as the festival wound down, merchants packed up their wares and wait staff began their cleanup. prowled the street talking to folks, smiling, carrying balloons, kids wearing pirate bonnets, re-enactors still exulting over their experiences.

Bay City is great! they declared to a man, er. . . person.

One of the last Bianco motor coaches, driven by Damian, pulled out of the Pere Marquette Depot headed back for the Detroit area as Great Lakes Bay Tourist & Convention Bureau manager Annie Rummel closed the doors.

"It's great for bringing in tourism," said Kristi Parker, of Essexville, an instructor in reading and writing at Saginaw Valley State University. "Bay City has done a lot for the waterfront," added Tara Parker, 20, an education student at SVSU.

Melissa Gonzales, of Saginaw, whose husband Rudy is a builder and works at Home Depot, had eight-year-old twins Isabella and Olivia in tow, visiting chocolate and antique shops. "We just love it here, we feel so safe and there are so many things to do." She took the twins to Waterfall Park where they got pirate bonnets and also visited the Friendship Shell.

Cassie Schindler, 22, of Kawkawlin, assistant manager of the Water Front Market and Deli, and Ali Pajot, 20, were closing up after a hectic four days. "We had more sales in the past week than so far this summer," she declared. Most of the business was from people from out of town, she said.

A trio of bicyclists, Sarah Schuman, 24, who works at Bay Arenac Behavioral Health, Mike Zajac, mechanic at the Bicycle Headquarters, Midland, and Sarah Zajac, 26, a nurse at McLaren Home Care, were taking a break from a hot bicycle ride on Water Street. "It was beautiful," said Sarah Schuman. "We got on the Bounty even though we had to wait so long because that was the one that was in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean."

Peggy Pudvan and her crew were closing up their trinket and t-shirts tent in front of the Kingfish and she exclaimed: "It was wonderful, quite amazing."

Todd Stevenson (alias Capt. Jack Sparrow) and his crew had spent much of the four days playing the crew of the Bounty. "It was our ship for the time we were on it," said Stevenson. "It was fantastic, we loved it -- it was a lot of fun," added Rod Jenks, 44, of Montrose, another re-enactor.

As the sun dropped slowly below the yardarm, the tour buses slowly crawled out of town with happy, tired tourists, the Water Street merchants waved goodbye to thousands of visitors and Bay City wound up another highly successful Tall Ships Festival.###

Melissa Gonzales, of Saginaw, takes 8-year-old twins Isabella, left, and Olivia, to the shops on Water Street. The girls are third graders at Hemmeter School. Melissa works for a plastic surgeon.
(MyBayCity Photo by Dave Rogers)

Olivia Rouech, 1, rides in style in the Waterfront Market & Deli, 925 N. Water St., with Kristi Parker of Essexville, a reading and writing instructor at Saginaw Valley State University, and Tara Parker, 20, a SVSU student in education.
(MyBayCity Photo by Dave Rogers)

Bikers Sarah Schuman, right, 24, an employee of Bay Arenac Behavioral Health, Mike Zajac, 24, bicycle mechanic from the Bicycle Headquarters, Midland, and Sarah Zajac, 26, (sister-in-law of Mike) a nurse at McLaren Home Care, enjoy the sights on Water Street.
(MyBayCity Photo by Dave Rogers)

Peggy Pudvan, right, and her crew at the sales tent outside the Kingfish, from left, B.J. Prime, 27, Greg Heitzig, 26, and Al Spiekerman, 32, begin to take down the displays of t-shirts, pirate hats, trinkets, etc.
(MyBayCity Photo by Dave Rogers)

Re-enactors Elaine and Bernardus "The Dutchman" Wubbolts, celebrate the end of their weekend gig at the Kingfish during the Tall Ships Festival with Marlene Dubiel, of Warren, center. The Wubbolts are part of the Bretheren of the Great Lakes who appear at many events including the Michigan Renaissance Fair. Bernardus was born in Holland and plays the part of a pirate captain to the hilt.
(MyBayCity Photo by Dave Rogers)

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