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Night Side At The Tall Ship Celebration

July 12, 2013       Leave a Comment
By: Stephen Kent

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Nighttime brings a whole new feel to the Tall Ship Celebration. When the park closes at 5:00 for the general public, a number of private parties keep the activity level going. But as the sun sets and people head home the scene becomes quiet and peaceful.

Around 10:00 pm the crescent moon was bright in the Western sky and the sun was below the horizon. The last red tinge of the sky was reflected in the calm river and eclectic lights illuminated the ships and the promenade. A few people wandered before the ships and crew could be seen sitting on decks. Music from a radio drifted on the night air.

Brian Wood from TV-5 was in the mobile studio editing his evening stories between stopping to visit with various friends and admirers who stopped by to take a look inside. Photographers, both pro and amateur snapped pictures of the beautiful scene.

Besides the parties in the park and at the Planetarium, The Bay County Historical Society teamed up with the State Theatre to present "Storm", a narrated documentary about ship wrecks on the great lakes by Ric Mixter. Singer Dan Hall and his group accompanied Ric with maritime songs.

Much of the second half of "Storm" was dedicated to the story of the Edmund Fitzgerald, which Mixter has explored personally and done an award winning TV-5 report. Hall started that segment by asking the audience if they knew the most famous shipwreck song. After many people called out the Ballad of the Fitzgerald, Hall broke into the theme from Gilligan's Island. Many people sang along.

On the street outside the park a few of the pubs and restaurants remained open with small groups of people sitting at the sidewalk tables quietly talking. Laughter was heard drifting on the air and the occasional car went down the street. The excitement of the day was over until Saturday morning would bring the next huge crowd.

A near sellout crowd enjoyed "Storm", the narrated story of ship wrecks on the Great Lakes and Bay City's roll in shipbuilding.
Ric Mixter discusses the route of the Edmund Fitzgerald and its impact on the ill fated vessel.
Small groups of people wandered the promenade to see the ships in a different time.
The soft sounds of crews on decks was far different from the noises of the day.
The Moon as seen behind the rigging.
The masts of the Sorlandet
View down the seawall.
Brian Wood breaks from his story editing to visit with friends.
Modern technology makes even cell phone pictures special at night.
The last few people enjoy visiting in the Uptown Bay City tent.
Concession stands were closed for the night.
Cars remain but the streets were quiet.
Diners enjoy the cool evening air outside of Gatsby's

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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