2017 Tacoma Festival of Sail, June 15-18

Norris Comer Nautical News

Tacoma Festival of SailBuy your discount festival passes schooner rather than later, y’awl! The Tacoma Festival of Sail returns for an exciting four-day extravaganza of classic tall ship tours, day sails, educational programming, food and beverages, entertainment, and fun for the whole family. Situated between Thea Foss Waterway and Dock Street in downtown Tacoma, the festival will feature dozens of classic sail and power vessels from the early 1900s to modern construction. The featured ships listing can be viewed on the festival website at festofsailtacoma.com.

At press time, the roster includes crowd favorites such as Adventuress, Schooners Martha, Suva, and Merrie Ellen, Providence, Virginia V, Zodiac, Dirigo, and the beloved Hollywood stars, Lady Washington, and Hawaiian Chieftain, along with a host of fascinating and historic vessels. Symphony Tacoma will be part of the musical entertainment on shore, and the amazing “World’s Largest Rubber Duck” (aka “Mama duck”)will provide an amusing backdrop.

Here’s how to plan your festival visit: start by viewing the latest news at festofsailtacoma.com. Do you want to tour the ships? Watch the amazing Parade of Sail on Thursday afternoon? Take a day sail, or two, or three? Add in discount package tickets to a museum, brewery, or other attraction? Take a look at the available pre-sale ticket options and find significant savings on your perfect outing, or the entire weekend. Pre-event ticket purchase gets you automatic updates on parking and shuttle deployment, as the area is expected to be crowded and parking is limited. Plus, you can avoid those long ticket lines at the event! Visitors please note: on Thursday, there are no onboard tours, and the Parade of Sail starting time of 1400 is subject to wind conditions and the individual speeds of the tall ships. Relax and have your camera ready for a spectacular exhibition on the water! Non-commercial photography and videography are allowed, and commercial filming can be arranged by permission.

Tacoma Festival of SailWant to add to the fun? Costumes are allowed, as long as they are (“Arrrr!”) not offensive, disruptive or unsuitable and don’t feature real or pretend weapons. Backpacks are not allowed and all bags must be inspected. The festival organizers won’t allow outside coolers, cans, bottles, or beverages except for bona fide medical/health/infant needs. To tour the ships, wear rubber sole shoes, sneakers or boat shoes; spike heels are not permitted. The ships are accessed by gangplank and cannot accommodate wheelchairs. No pets allowed, except for service dogs. No ticket is required for visitors age four and under, but tickets are required for ship tours.

Close to the event date, look at SailTraining.org’s Fleet Tracker to monitor the arrival of the tall ships that have tracking enabled. Event volunteers are still needed,; check the festival website to register for fun assignments such as queue manager and ship’s liaison for individual vessels.

Norris Comer

Written by

Norris Comer is the managing editor of Northwest Yachting. He was raised in Portland, Oregon and got his BS in Marine Science at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL where he lived aboard a 1973 Catalina 27 before moving to Washington. He has worked as a commercial fisherman, wandered aimlessly around the world, studied oil spills, and was a contestant on the Norwegian reality TV show, Alt for Norge. He loves living in a state where he can explore the ocean and mountains in the same day.

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