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Duluth prepares for tall ships and tourist bonanza

Ten of the old-style sailing ships will be in port Thursday through Sunday, and officials expect tons of tourists to come to town, too.

Duluth hosted nine tall ships in 2010.
MinnPost photo by Paul Walsh

Ten old-style sailing ships will be in Duluth this weekend for another tall ships festival.

The city had hosted three tall ships in 2008, then nine in 2010, when 250,000 visitors showed up to appreciate the soaring masts and billowing sails.

At least as many people are expected this year, says the Duluth News Tribune.

Among the ships in port, says the paper, will be:

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“… the US Brig Niagara and Pride of Baltimore II, replicas of ships from the War of 1812; and the schooners S/V Denis Sullivan and Zeeto, both of which would have been at home on the Great Lakes in the 1850s — and vessels paying their first calls — including the Peacemaker, built in Brazil, and the SS Sorlandet, a full-rigged, three-mast ship from Norway.”

The festival includes other nautical-themed entertainment on the Lake Superior lakefront. The festival grounds open at noon Thursday and 9 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On-board tours end at 5 p.m., but Harbor Drive and Bayfront Park will remain open until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday so visitors can stroll by and view the ships, the paper said.

Visit Duluth President Terry Mattson said:

“Tall ships were so popular in 2010 that fans can’t wait to come back. For many people this is a once-in-a-life experience. There is something magical about it.”