Spectators gathered along the north and south side of the pier to watch the tall ships sail during the parade.

Around 80 people were on board the U.S. Brig Niagara as it left the dock at the foot of Dobbins Landing, Thursday afternoon.

Before setting sail onto the bayfront, the captain reviewed safety measures for passengers in case of emergency. Shortly after, the ship’s crew began setting everything in place for the Parade of Sail, giving passengers the option to be involved.

“Pulling a rope to actually lift one of the sails, and that was absolutely amazing,” said Kenya Boswella, passenger onboard the U.S. Brig Niagara.

“That was awesome. I was on the Lettie a couple weeks ago, and I also helped on the Lettie. This was a little bit harder I have to say,” said Kristin Talarico, another passenger onboard.

As the Brig Niagara made its way through the channel and into Presque Isle Bay, sails began unfurling and the ships started lining up to begin the show.

City officials said the experience gives passengers a different perspective of Erie.

“It gives you a view of things you’ve never seen before. It’s an honor to help out with things here, and it’s just really, really nice. Plus, you get to see a lot of people together,” said Mayor Joe Schember.

Whether you’re an Erie native or a visitor passengers say it’s exciting to be a part of naval history.

“I’m not from here so moving here and having this historical experience has been a really neat experience and I’m happy to be a part of it,” said Crystal Penna, U.S. Brig Niagara passenger.

Those on board were all smiles while waving at people on smaller boats during the parade and would recommend the experience onboard the Brig Niagara to anyone.

“Absolutely. Yeah, yeah,” added Penna.

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“I would definitely do it again and I would definitely recommend this to someone that is interested or even if you’re not interested,” said Kenya Boswell, U.S. Brig Niagara passenger.