Ship sail

The Tall Ship Festival returns to Brockville – Kingston

After a pandemic hiatus, the Tall Ship Festival returns to Brockville this weekend. Organizers believe it could be the busiest festival yet.

Onlookers have already been there to observe the ships announcing past eras.

“We actually have my daughter and son-in-law visiting from Vietnam,” Brockville resident Elizabeth Coleman said as the family looked at the flagpoles.

For another couple, tall ships are part of a second honeymoon.

“For us, being from Pakistan, it’s very, very new because we’re not boarding old ships. We don’t have that kind of culture there. It’s really fascinating to learn about history,” said Nabeel Ehmed.

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According to organizers, based on pre-sales, it could be the busiest tall ship festival to date.

“We have already sold more than five thousand bridge visit passports. And that’s more than twice what we sold when we had the Bluenose here three years ago,” said Tall Ships President Brian Burns.

One of the new festival ships is the Mimi Jane. Owner Murielle Ovenden says they spent 17 years building the vessel which comes from her home town in France.

“I am from Brittany and these vessels would be used primarily for tuna fishing,” Ovenden said.

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The NAO Trinidad, a Spanish ship, made its voyage from Italy. In the 15th century, it was the type of ship used for transporting goods and exploring.

“The NAO Santa Maria was the flagship of the Columbus Expedition and the Magellan Expedition,” said Angel Rosa of NAO Trinidad.

New to the festival this year is live music featuring Sean McCann, formerly of Canadian band Great Big Sea.

The Tall Ships Festival runs all weekend and ends at 5 p.m. on Sunday.

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