Last night, two tall ships made their voyage into the Piscataqua River to kick off the Sail Portsmouth 2016 Festival, hosted by the nonprofit Piscataqua Maritime Commission. The annual event is taking place this weekend and includes ship tours, public sails, music, exhibits, food, and so much more: http://bit.ly/2aZjKxW. This tradition is a favorite among both locals and travelers.
The Oliver Hazard Perry, although it resembles ships hailing from the 19th century, was actually built in Newport, Rhode Island in 2014, and will lead the event. It’s the first full-rigged ship to have been built in the United States in over 100 years, and it’s also currently the largest ship in the nation, boasting a massive 200 ft! Perry will be available for tours at the Peirce Island Fish Pier all weekend long.
The Harvey Gamage, which was built in 1973 and finished restorations in 2015, will also lead the parade, and will be holding daily sails from Thursday through Sunday at 10 am, 2 pm, and 6 pm at the UNH pier in New Castle. Learn more about both ships here: http://bit.ly/2bjNVVJ
Sail Portsmouth 2016 will run now until August 14th, and gates open at 9 AM each day. Between watching the parade (ideal spots to do this are Four Tree Island in Portsmouth, Great Island Common in New Castle, and Ft. Foster in Kittery), greeting the ships, captains, and crews at the opening ceremony, meeting Maritime Exhibitors, and even escorting the ships yourself, there is something here for everyone to enjoy, and this is an event not to be missed this summer!