Pier C will be bustling this weekend with the arrival of the Tall Ships on July 28.
Four Tall Ships with 57 people will be making their way from Halifax to the port of Pictou for two days.
Festivities kick off Saturday at 8 a.m. with the Crew’s Breakfast, open to the public, and will continue with the ships opening at 10 a.m.
On both days, the ships will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and there will be entertainment and children’s activities 1-5 p.m.
“For the children’s activities this year we have a pirate bouncy house, a balloon artist who will be making pirate swords out of balloons on Sunday only and a pirate treasure map,” explains Tall Ships 2012 committee member Darlene MacDonald.
“The treasure map is really neat because we have 10 businesses taking part and the children will go to each one and get their X marked on the spot and end at the Hector Quay for the chance to win some prizes.”
Entertainment at Pier C includes Shannon and Tony Quinn, Jimmy Sweeney, Alycia Putnam, Fleur Mainville and John Spyder Macdonald. Spectators are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.
“There will also be dancers and pipers throughout the afternoon,” says MacDonald.
The committee has also organized a free ceilidh outside of the Hector Quay Saturday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. with a pipe concert preceding the event at 6 p.m.
“This year we have partnered with the Northumberland Fisheries Museum and the Hector Quay so that if you pay the $5 to get into the Tall Ships, there will be a reduced admission price for the museums of $3,” explains MacDonald. “And the same goes if you pay to get into one of the museums you get your admission to the Tall Ships for $3. So it’s nice to be able to tie that in and take advantage of what Pictou has to offer.”
Luke Young, chairman of the Pictou Business and Marketing Society, says it’s very exciting to see activity on the waterfront.
“I expect the businesses to benefit. It’s exciting to know we are one of the few port destinations for these ships,” he says.
MacDonald says the committee is very much looking forward to the Tall Ships this year as it’s the same committee as the 2009 Tall Ships and in 2009 it was on a Wednesday and Thursday and this year it falls on a Saturday and Sunday.
“We are expecting an increase in numbers this year.”
The four ships coming to Pictou are:
►The Appledore IV, a schooner, originally commissioned by Herb and Doris Smith and built by Mark Treworgy, launched in 1989, as the fourth in a series of schooners built for world voyaging.
► Gazela was built in 1901 in Setbual, Portugal to carry fishermen to the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. Gazela’s final commercial fishing trip was made in 1969 after which it was purchased by philanthropist William Wikoff Smith to serve as an historic sailing vessel for the Philadelphia Maritime Museum. The ship is now owned and operated by the Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild. Gazela has made Hollywood appearances in films such as Interview with a Vampire, The Widow of St. Pierre and several documentaries including The Irish in America and a French movie filmed in Louisbourg. She sails today as a goodwill ambassador for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Ports of Philadelphia.
- HMS Bounty, a replica of one of the most famous Tall Ships in history. The replica Bounty was constructed using only shipbuilding methods typical of its original’s time period and using the actual drawings of the first Bounty and its original purpose was to star in the film Mutiny on the Bounty which depicted the now-famous events of the original vessel. It has also been used in Treasure Island, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and the subsequent Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.
-Theodore Too is the fourth ship coming to Pictou.
“It’s really wonderful that this has evolved from Halifax to out ports,” says MacDonald. “As a town we would never be able to have the Tall Ships because of the cost, because it is a province-wide festival; there is funding from all levels of government. It’s very cool that we are able to host them in Pictou. We are hoping for fair winds, fair weather and we hope all goes well.”