Erie prepares for 2019 Tall Ships Festival

Local News

Tall Ships Erie Festival is just a few days away, and preparation is in full swing throughout Erie’s Bayfront.

The Flagship Niagara League is working very hard to get set up and ready for this weekend’s event.

As 12 Tall Ships sail into Presque Isle Bay, organizers are preparing for a jam packed weekend full of fun.

“We already have tents being set up, we have 840 stanchions set up right now for all the lines,” said William Sabatini, Executive Director of Flagship Niagara League.

Over 50,000 people are expected to take part in this year’s event. Tall Ship organizers said visitors should park in the city. The Pennsylvanian DCNR has announced North Peir parking on the Peninsula will be restricted to ADA accessible parking only for the Parade of Sails.

“This is a walking festival, so we don’t want people driving down Holland Street, State Street, or Sassafras. We want people to park in the city, and then utilize the free shuttles,” said Sabatini.

This year’s Tall Ships Festival will have an expanded foot print of where ships will be docked. That’s to eliminate traffic and long lines to see each vessel.

The Tall Ships will be docked along the Bayfront between Holland Street Pier, the Bayfront Convention Center, and Sassafras Street Extension.

Tall Ships organizers said volunteers are playing a huge role in getting ready for this weekends event.

“They’ve been moving everything around. They’ve been doing the heavy lifting, and I just can’t say enough wonderful things about our volunteers,” said Captain David Goldman, Lettie G. Howard.

Volunteers like Gary Dudenhoefer, who is one of 600 volunteers working hard to make the festival possible.

“I think the more we can make people aware of the treasure we have on the Bayfront and the Lake, the better it will be for the community,” said Gary Dudenhoefer, volunteer.

If you’re looking to take part in this weekend’s festivities, the Parade of Sails will kick off Tall Ships Erie, which will begin on Thursday at 4 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

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