Byline: Ambrosia Brody
DANA POINT — The Dana Point Harbor seascape will be replete with towering masts and massive sails when historic tall ships sail in for the 29th annual Toshiba Tall Ships Festival, Sept. 7-8.
A Tall Ships Sunset Parade will take place prior to the festival on Sept. 6, from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Spectators can view the parade of ships entering the harbor from the breakwater.
The Tall Ships Festival, hosted by the Ocean Institute, offers a weekend jam-packed with educational and entertaining activities. Attendees can learn more about these unique vessels that are steeped in maritime history.
“Beyond the simple beauty and majesty of these vessels, the purpose of this event is to share the maritime heritage that is an integral aspect of California’s history and legacy — and to link that legacy with current maritime concerns,” said Tracy Kirby, festival director.
“The Ocean Institute’s Tall Ships Festival celebrates the return of the brig Pilgrim from her annual summer sail as an ambassador of goodwill for the city of Dana Point and the Ocean Institute,” Kirby added. “More importantly, the festival highlights the community’s rich cultural heritage.”
For a nominal fee, festival-goers can go aboard tall ships docked in the harbor, watch pirates battle it out with a live mock cannon battle or head into the Ocean Institute and search for treasure. A pirate parrot show and a touch tank will also be available to visitors.
Living-history encampments — where blacksmiths, scrimshaw artists and the Port Royal Privateers set up camp — are open for attendees to walk around.
Additionally, entertainment during the festival focuses on maritime traditional music and living history reenactors that portray local heritages, Kirby added.
Ships scheduled to attend the festival include brig Pilgram, Spirit of Dana Point, Irving Johnson and Exy Johnson, American Pride, Californian, Curlew and Bill of Rights.
The festival’s offerings also extend to the new Maddie James Seaside Learning Center, which includes a maritime pier with interactive activities.
Ticket prices vary. General admission for the Toshiba Tall Ships Festival is $7 for adults, $5 for children (3-12) who are Ocean Institute members. Non-member ticket fees are $10 for adults, $8 for children (3-12). Cruises are extra.
Visit tallshipfestival.com for more information.
Tall Ships Festival Cruise Schedule:
Friday, Sept. 6:
Tall Ships Sunset Parade Sail: 4:30-7:30 p.m. Members: $35/adults, $25/children (ages 4-12) Non-members: $45/adults, $35/children (4-12)
Parade Escort Cruise: 5-7 p.m. Members: $25/adults, $20/children (4-12) Non-members: $30/adults, $25/children (4-12) (aboard Sea Explorer)
Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 7 and 8:
Experience blasting cannons, towering rigging, bustling decks and the magnificence of canvas full of wind. Work with the crew hauling up sails, or simply sit back and enjoy the spectacular demonstration of skill, knowledge and survival.
Tall Ship Cannon Battle Sails: 4:30-7:30 p.m. Members: $50/adults, $40/children (4-12) Non-members $65/adults, $55/children (4-12)
Cannon Battle Escort Cruises: 5-6:30 p.m. Members: $25/adults, $20/children (4-12) Non-members: $30/adults, $25/children (4-12) (aboard Sea Explorer)