Tall ships are on their way, racing toward Greenport Memorial Day Weekend festival

COURTESY TALL SHIPS AMERICA | Tall ships like those heading up the East Coast to Greenport.

The tall ships competing in the Tall Ships Challenge Atlantic Coast 2012 races began traveling up the Eastern Seaboard this week in commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812.

Several ships will make port at Greenport’s waterfront for a three-day family festival over Memorial Day weekend, May 26 through May 28.

Specially priced advance tickets are now available on line at

“The village is offering a discounted ticket price of $7 for on-line orders through May 15,” said Greenport Mayor David Nyce. “We are encouraging those interested in purchasing tickets to take advantage of the reduced rate. Ticket prices will increase when purchased on line after May 15.”

Ticket holders can board the majestic ships and interact with crew members and sailing trainees.

While the real stars of this three day festival are the magnificent ships, there will be lots more to do and see in Greenport. On the waterfront, Mitchell Park will be bustling with special events and activities to keep children and their parents entertained all weekend long. Restaurants and merchants will offer an assortment of foods and beverages. Musical concerts will be held on stages and street performers will display their many talents throughout the harbor.

The East End Seaport Museum is presenting a nautical exhibit, “Art of the Sailor,” where a variety of sailing-themed tattoos will be provided for pirates and buccaneers.

Participants can play games at the carnival, take a ride the antique carousel and enjoy a dazzling display of fireworks. They can also sign up for the Captains Dinner at the historic Brecknock Hall mansion on Saturday, May 26. Call Peconic Landing at (631) 477-3800 for reservations.

Organizers said visitors are welcome to stay the entire weekend and experience all Greenport has to offer: hotels and inns, shops and galleries, restaurants, antiquing, boating and walking tours.  (For a list of accommodations & attractions, visit www.

Tall Ships America,the organization through which the racing challenge and festival have been arranged, provides a unique educational experience for young people interested in sail training. While at port, they offer a selection of programs that all conform to Tall Ships America’s credo: “Adventure and Education Under Sail.”

The Tall Ships Challenge fleet will be hosted at festivals in four major ports of call: Savannah, Ga. (May 3-7), Greenport, (May 24-28), Newport, R.I. (July 6-9) and Halifax, Nova Scotia (July 19-23) Between ports, the vessels will compete in four offshore races.

For a list of participating ships, click here.

For more information about Tall Ships America or to learn how to sign aboard a tall ship, visit or contact Lori Aguilar at (401) 846-1775 or by email at [email protected]