Tall Ships Erie officially kicks off Thursday afternoon, and some of the ships are already arriving in Erie.

Crews of those ships are busy getting ready for the thousands of visitors expected over the four-day festival.

As the ships begin to arrive for the four-day event, a lot has changed since the last Tall Ships event in 2019.

Members of the U.S. Coast Guard are providing safety information for people attending the festival. The public information officer says firearms of any type are prohibited along with large bags.

There will be three access points to enter the event that will be manned by local law enforcement where brief searches will be conducted.

If you are commuting to the festival, there are various means of transportation available to prevent traffic tie ups.

Two main streets will be blocked off with minimal parking and to prevent drivers from going directly onto the grounds.

Tall Ships Erie does not mean other Bayfront activities are put on hold; both the Victorian Princess and Scallywags Pirate Adventures will operate as usual.

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For a full list of the events happening this weekend, visit TallShipsErie.org.