Erie, Pa. (WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — The four-day celebration of all things maritime opened Thursday afternoon with the Parade of Sail.

Friday morning, Tall Ships Erie festival grounds opened to the public at 10 a.m. The fleet of tall ships from North America and Spain will be in Erie all weekend long:

  • U.S. Brig Niagara (Erie)
  • Lettie G. Howard (New York City)
  • Empire Sandy (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
  • Appledore IV (Bay City, Michigan)
  • St. Lawrence II (Kingston, Ontario, Canada)
  • Trinidad (Huelva, Spain)
  • Pride of Baltimore II (Maryland)

Captain Billy Sabatini told us that this event brings visitors from all over the area to Erie. Sabatini said it’s a chance to highlight the Bayfront and local tall ships, including the U.S. Brig Niagara. 

Safety guidelines will be in place both on the festival grounds and on the water for boaters. 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.

The U.S. Brig Niagara and the Lettie G. Howard will be docked at the foot of State Street on Dobbins Landing, along with the Appledore IV. The Trinidad, Empire Sandy, Pride of Baltimore II, and St. Lawrence II will be docked at the Bayfront Convention Center.

Mama and baby rubber ducks are expected to be in place today behind the Erie Maritime Museum. A kids zone will be located at the east end of State Street, along with food trucks. Both the Victorian Princess and Scallywags Pirate Adventures will operate as usual.

The Tall Ships Erie festival runs Friday through Sunday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the foot of State Street, the Erie Maritime Museum, and the Bayfront Convention Center along the Bayfront in downtown Erie.

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Those attending the festival are encouraged to park in downtown Erie and take a parking shuttle to the festival as parking near the festival grounds will be limited. Portions of Holland Street, State Street and Sassafras Street Extension north of the Bayfront Parkway will not be open to traffic.

For a full list of the events happening this weekend, visit TallShipsErie.org. You can purchase tickets online or in person at the Erie Maritime Museum Gift Shop.