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Tall Ship Celebration 2013 Kicks Off As Ships Arrive

July 11, 2013       Leave a Comment
By: Stephen Kent

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The Tall Ship Celebration 2013 kicked off today as the ships arrived in port shortly after noon. A brisk breeze and perfect weather allowed most of the ships to come in from the bay under full sail.

Every viewing spot from downtown out to the bay was loaded with people. Parking was at a premium but few people complained. Those in the downtown area filled all the lots and streets. Others went to the Steering Gear lot north of downtown and caught shuttle busses back to the downtown area.

Along the river the large crowds cheered as the ships passed by, several of them firing cannon's to salute the crowd. The first group of ships came up the river right on schedule. There was a short delay then, which had people asking what was going on. Reports later were that a minor vehicle accident on the Liberty Bridge kept the bridge closed for a period of time.

This was arrival and setup day. Visitors filled the park and got close but could not tour ships as they prepared for Friday and Saturday. Crew members were busy furling sails, cleaning and organizing decks, tying off ropes and making the ships ready for visitors.

The volunteer committee had a carpentry crew building steps, platforms and other fixtures to insure that visitors could easily board and exit the ships. The Coast Guard inspected each ship to insure safety.

Other volunteers were busy as well. Each ship has been assigned a team of Ship Liaison Officers who might better be called "fixers". Anything that a crew needs is taken care of. Volunteers were bringing in food, getting supplies, running errands, and taking crew to the Family-Y for showers. Other volunteers put together "goodie bags" to be distributed to the crew members.

As the ships arrived the Tri-City Trumpets played the various service anthems and marches. At 7:00 the Bay Concert Band presented a full concert to the massed audience sitting in the shell.

With the forcast assuring great weather, this year's Tall Ship Celebration should be a great event. The cost is very low. Hundreds of volunteers are on hand and doing all they can to insure everyone has a great time in Bay City's continuing summer of fun.

The city park in Essexville was typical of all viewing locations along the river. Huge crowds lined the shore and waited to greet the ships as they came in from the bay.
Great weather and a north breeze allowed the ships to come in under sail to the delight of everyone who watched.
The Sorlandet is one of the largest ships.
As large as it is, the Sorlandet seemed a little smaller next to the Edson.
Canon salutes are great, but they're really loud when the gun is pointed right at you!
John St.Sauver of "The High 5 Guys" gives a wave from 12 feet up.
Not only can he walk on stilts, he juggled bowling pins and stradled kids and people on benches. About every 20 feet he had to stop for photo opportunities.
The Bay Concert Band presented a full concert to a large audience in the shell.
Steps were custom built anywhere they were needed to insure visitors can get from the seawall to the ship decks safely.
Rich Milster and Tim Kelly prepare a few hundred goodie bags to be distributed to crew members.
Ship Liaison Officers Doug and Jan Rise just back from taking crew members to the Family Y for showers.

5087, 7775, 7776

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Stephen Kent

Steve Kent and his family have lived in Bay City for 40 years. He is VP of Technical Services at MMCC which produces MyBayCity.Com. Kent is active in many Bay City civic organizations.

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