Great Lakes, Tall Ships

Coming In IP

What is it about Tall Ships® that is so enchanting?  Is it the history?  The romance?  Or maybe it’s the danger; this week alone one sank off the coast of Ireland and another caught fire after being struck by lightning.  Whatever the attraction, you could find license plates from just about every state and Canadian province in Duluth, Minnesota last night as the 2013 Tall Ships® Festival kicked off.

Schooner Hindu IP

Okay, perhaps it’s not just the danger, but the love of speed.  This summer the Great Lakes are giving viewers the photo op of a lifetime; groups of Tall Ships® racing from festival to festival.  If you’ve ever seen one of them in person, imagine what it would look like to have nine of them sailing around you.

Sails Down IP

When they leave the city at noon on Monday, seven of them will be taking part in the Tall Ships Challenge®, racing 316 miles in four days across the length of Lake Superior to get to White Fish Bay in Michigan.   Until then, the festival is estimated to bring a quarter of a million spectators at a projected $15,000,000 economic impact.

Coming Under IP

Flag Unfurled IP

While the vessels are in port they will offer on-board tours and two hour sail-away trips.  This year’s festival is commemorating the military events of the War of 1812, so there will be period-specific activities and many costumes, food, and entertainment.

Big Flag IP

The event is slated as the biggest one of the year for Duluth, and it’s easy to see why.  For a list of events and entertainment, you can check the website.  I personally recommend touring the ships, having a picture or two with your favorite character, and definitely don’t miss Martin Zellar and the Hardways Saturday night; they’re the pride of the state.

THE Pirate IP

And if you happen to see a tall blonde guy named Terry Mattson, tell him thank you.  Without the countless hours put in by the President/CEO and his staff, this event would never have come to fruition.  So to you, Visit Duluth staff and support, thank you and have a great festival!

Tall Ship SPI IP


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