All Hands on Deck for Festival of Sail

Festival draws crowds of thousands from every state and Canadian province.

DULUTH, Minn.- The seven tall ships for this year’s Festival of Sail bring thousands of spectators to Canal Park each day of its three day run.

“Each time you see a ship like this or any of these ships here today it’s like you’re seeing a ship for the first time they’re just so beautiful,” said a certain famous Captain.

Sailing lovers from all 50 states and every Canadian province have come to marvel at the tall masts and decks of yore.

“Just the history of it all is impressive to me how long they’ve been around, what they’ve been-some of them have been around the world,” said Jane Benson, “very impressive.”

Jane and Larry Benson heard about the festival from down in Woodbury.

“I was interested in the recreated ship that Admiral Perry used back in the war of 1812,” Larry said. “That’s a long time ago, and it’s pretty important in our country’s history.”

That ship, the U.S. Brig Niagara, defeated a British squadron of six vessels in the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813.

At the festival, it gives people a glimpse at what life was like for Sailors at that pivotal moment in the war and in our country’s history.

“Takes us back to our roots and stuff,” said Larry, “and it’s easy to get distracted by a lot of the things going on right now.”

“It’s good to think about how we get here, where we come from.”

Over where the ship is docked, an important piece of cinematic history greets people as they step aboard the Niagara, stepping aboard into the past.

“The history, in and of itself is so rich and so full,” said Captain Jack Sparrow.

“There’s so much to learn about each one of these ships and the people on board know the stories so if nothing else the complete storytelling of it is amazing.”

Ships like these are in many movies, like Captain Jack’s Black Pearl in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Though he isn’t planning on racing against the ones here anytime soon.

“Some of these it would do alright. But she [the Pearl] takes her prey against the wind. So, little different.”

But of course, nothing is as it seems when Captain Jack is around, and odds are he’s got more in store than just taking pictures with fans, like the bronze pirate or the mermaid at the Festival.

“A pirate never plunders and tells,” Jack said, “but I will say I have seen some rather valuable things nearby so we’ll see how things go. I happen to have some sticky fingers, but we’ll see what happens.”

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