This month is the chance to see a sight hard to even imagine on
the shores of Lake Michigan: 20 majestic tall ships from around the
world parading toward Navy Pier and docking from Aug. 24-29.
In previous tall ship festivals, boats were scattered throughout
the Chicago area; this will be the first time all the boats will be
docked in one location.
The Tall Ship Parade begins at 4 p.m. Aug. 24,
when the boats proceed along the shoreline from Northerly Island to
Navy Pier. This process takes some time as the boats maneuver into
position along the pier while Chicago Fire Department boats spray
their hoses to welcome the big ships. Their arrival culminates that
evening at 9 p.m. with fireworks.
Beginning Aug. 25-29, visitors can buy passes to get close-up
looks and tours of the ships while they're docked. "You get to see
how they prepare their food, how they sleep, how they shower," says
Delores Robinson, spokesperson for Navy Pier. "It's just a great,
fun day to come to the pier and see how seamen live."
The flotilla will include the Unicorn, the only all-female
crewed tall ship in the world built with captured German U-boat
parts salvaged from World War II, and the Bounty from the "Pirates
of the Caribbean" movie. In addition to the ships, there also will
be a festival in the pier's Grand Ballroom with entertainment and a
kids' activity area. Fireworks take place each evening.
Viewing passes for the ships, which cost $15, $9 for kids 3-12,
free kids 2 and under, allow visitors into the tall ship area.
Boarding passes are $20, $15 kids and allow visitors to board boats
and also include entry to the festival. Tickets can be purchased at
Liz DeCarlo is the former senior editor at Chicago Parent.
See more of Liz's stories here.
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